The British billionaire owner of English Premier League side Tottenham, Joe Lewis, has been indicted on charges of insider trading, US federal prosecutors said Tuesday in New York.
Damian Williams, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said the 86-year-old Bahamas-based Lewis furnished employees and lovers with inside information for years in a “brazen” scheme that raked in millions of dollars.
“Today I’m announcing that my office, the southern district of New York, has indicted Joe Lewis, the British billionaire, for orchestrating a brazen insider trading scheme,” Williams said in a statement on Twitter, the social media platform undergoing a rebranding to X.
“We allege that for years Joe Lewis abused his access to corporate board rooms and repeatedly provided inside information to his romantic partners, his personal assistants, his private pilots and his friends.
“Those folks then traded on that inside information and made millions of dollars in the stock market, because thanks to Lewis those bets were a sure thing.”
Williams said Lewis passed on the inside information as a way of compensating employees or giving gifts to friends, describing the scheme as “classic corporate corruption.”
“None of this was necessary,” Williams said.
“Joe Lewis is a wealthy man. But, as we allege, he used inside information as a way to compensate his employees or to shower gifts on his friends and lovers.”
Lewis is reported to be one of Britain’s richest men with a fortune worth an estimated $6 billion, building his reputation as a currency speculator in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Lewis’s holding company ENIC bought a controlling interest in Tottenham in 2001 from then-owner Alan Sugar, another prominent British tycoon.