July 26 – Joe Lewis, the Bahamas-based British billionaire and veteran owner of Premier League Tottenham Hotspur, has been sensationally charged in New York with “orchestrating a brazen insider trader scheme”.
Prosecutors claim 86-year-old Louis, regarded as somewhat of a recluse and rarely in the news, exploited his access to corporate boardrooms by passing tips about companies in which he invested to those in his own inner circle, enabling them to reap millions of dollars of profit.
“None of this was necessary. Joe Lewis is a wealthy man,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams announcing the insider trading case.
The Financial Times reported that Lewis has been charged with 19 counts.
“As we allege, he used insider information as a way to compensate his employees and shower gifts on his friends and lovers,” claimed Williams.
“That’s classic corporate corruption. It’s cheating, and it’s against the law. Laws that apply to everyone, no matter who you are. That’s why Joe Lewis has been indicted and will face justice here in the Southern District of New York.”
Williams alleged Lewis’s acquaintances used the information provided to make millions of dollars in the stock market.
According to the indictment, Lewis’ investments in various companies gave him control of board seats, where he placed associates who let him know what they learned behind the scenes.
Prosecutors say he improperly doled out that confidential information between 2019 and 2021 to his chosen recipients and urged them to profit on it. At one point, according to the indictment, he even loaned his two private pilots $500,000 apiece to buy stock in a cancer-drug company.
David M. Zornow, an attorney for Lewis, said his client had gone to the U.S. “to answer these ill-conceived charges” and would fight them vigorously.
“The government has made an egregious error in judgment in charging Mr. Lewis, an 86-year-old man of impeccable integrity and prodigious accomplishment,” Zornow said in a statement.
With a fortune that Forbes estimates as $6.1 billion, Lewis has investments that span from real estate to biotechnology, energy to agriculture. He bought Tottenham in 2001.
Under his ownership, despite relative lack of success on the pitch, the club has built a state-of-the-art stadium at a cost of more than $1 billion that also stages regular-season NFL games.
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