Tottenham owner Joe Lewis indicted for insider trading, giving information to ‘romantic partners and private pilots’

Tottenham owner Joe Lewis has been indicted for “orchestrating a brazen insider trading scheme” that involved passing information to “romantic partners and his private pilots,” United States attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams has announced.

Lewis, 86, is charged with 13 counts of securities fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; three counts of securities fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison; and three counts of conspiracy, each of which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, per the indictment issued by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York’s office.

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In news that could have consequences for any potential sale of the club, the billionaire is alleged to have “abused his access to corporate board rooms and repeatedly provided inside information to his personal assistants and his friends,” too. “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.”

It is unclear yet whether the indictment could raise significant issues for Lewis. The Premier League has an owners and directors test which is designed to stop people convicted of such crimes owning a club. However, Lewis ceded official control to Bryan Glinton and Katie Booth in October 2022.

Lewis has owned Tottenham since he bought the London club for £22 million in December 2000 and has overseen mixed success. While the club is now regularly involved in the conversations around European spots and has a state-of-the-art stadium and training ground, there has been a lack of trophies and many fans want him to sell. He has been open to offers for some time though has not come close to accepting an offer.

What Lewis’ lawyer said

“The government has made an egregious error in judgment in charging Mr. Lewis, an 86-year-old man of impeccable integrity and prodigious accomplishment,” Lewis’ lawyer David M. Zornow said in a statement to Bloomberg. “Mr. Lewis has come to the U.S. voluntarily to answer these ill-conceived charges, and we will defend him vigorously in court.”

What else Williams said

“None of this was necessary. 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. That’s classic corporate corruption, it’s cheating and it’s against the law,” the attorney said.

“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.”

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(Photo: Catherine Ivil / Getty)

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