British billionaire Joe Lewis, owner of the Tottenham Hotspur football club, has recently pleaded guilty to insider trading charges in New York. Prosecutors accused him of sharing secret stock tips with his pilots, girlfriends, and assistants over several years.
A “Brazen” Insider Trading Scheme
Lewis, who is considered one of the wealthiest individuals in the United Kingdom, is alleged to have engaged in what prosecutors described as a “brazen” insider trading scheme. He reportedly obtained confidential information about companies he had invested in and passed it on to others, enabling them to profit immensely.
Apologies and Plea
At 86 years old, Lewis apologized in front of the judge during his hearing at the federal court in Manhattan. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and two counts of securities fraud.
“I am so embarrassed and I apologize to the court for my conduct,” Lewis expressed remorsefully, according to Reuters.
Agreement with Federal Prosecutors
Lewis’s guilty plea was part of an agreement reached with federal prosecutors; however, his lawyer indicated that he retains the right to appeal if he receives a jail sentence. The final sentencing has been scheduled for March 28.
Years of Illicit Gains
Prosecutors allege that Lewis, whose net worth Forbes estimates to be $6.2 billion, consistently participated in this scheme from 2013 through 2021. During this period, he allegedly facilitated his employees and friends in making millions of dollars through illegal means.
The Extravagant Lifestyle of Lewis
Lewis, a renowned individual, has made headlines lately for his lavish lifestyle and questionable financial activities. His opulent, $250 million super yacht, known as the Aviva, has become a subject of intrigue among many.
Allegations suggest that Lewis went to extraordinary lengths to reward his loyal staff on the yacht. Among these extraordinary gestures were providing his pilots with short-term, $500,000 loans for purchasing stocks. The intention was for them to repay him once they reaped significant profits from his valuable stock tips.
Through his private equity firm, Tavistock Group, Lewis has invested significantly in various sectors. With the firm’s involvement in agriculture, sports, resort properties, and life-sciences businesses, Lewis has established a broad portfolio. Additionally, he possesses an impressive art collection featuring renowned painters such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Gustav Klimt.
Investigations have revealed that Lewis shared insider information about several entities publicly traded in the life-sciences field. These include Solid Biosciences, Mirati Therapeutics, as well as Australian Agricultural Co. and BCTG, a special purpose acquisition company.
Lewis first garnered significant attention when he acquired the Tottenham Hotspur Football Club for a noteworthy sum of $35.5 million in 2001. Since then, he has remained in the spotlight.
For years, Lewis has resided in the Bahamas as a tax exile, enjoying the benefits of this arrangement. However, under the terms of his bail agreement, he is required to stay within the United States and refrain from using his luxurious yacht or private jets until his sentencing.
Despite the impending legal proceedings and allegations, Lewis’s extravagant lifestyle remains an intriguing focus for many observers.