Tottenham Hotspur’s majority owner Joe Lewis has pleaded not guilty to indictments of insider trading.
Lewis, whose family trust supritends over a large part of Tottenham Hotspur, gave in to authorities in the US and he was present in court on Wednesday, July 26, 2023.
The 86-year-old got into his plea before U.S Magistrate judge Valerie Figueredo in the federal court based in Manhattan.
Legal prosecutor Nicolas Roos claims Joe Lewis would be freed on a 300 million dollar bond provided by his yacht, that has been termed Aviva, alongside a private aircraft.
Joe Lewis pilots pleaded not guilty to the allegations
Two of the British Billionaire’s pilots, Patrick O’Connor and Bryan Waugh, also expressed their innocence over the allegations with regards to insider trading.
They were also indicted of raking in millions of dollars in illegal profit from Joe Lewis tips.
The pair have their bail set at 250,000 dollars respectively due to their superior’s alleged misconduct.
The Spurs majority owner was indicted with 16 counts of stock fraud and investment fraud in addition to three counts of conspiracy.
The conspiracy reportedly spanned between 2013 and 2021 and the prison sentence could be a lengthy one that whoever is caught guilty could face several decades behind the bars.
O’Connor, who resides in New York and Waugh, who lives in Virginia each face seven counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy.
In another lawsuit on Wednesday, July 26, the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil insider trading case against Joe Lewis, O’Connor, Waugh and Lewis’ former partner Carolyn Carter.
Damian Williams, the U.S Attorney in Manhattan, expressed in a statement that none of Joe Lewis‘ alleged actions “was unnecessary” due to the fact that “Joe Lewis is a wealthy man”.
Prosecutors claim that in 2019 Joe Lewis borrowed each pilot $500,000 and urged them to purchase stock in oncology company Mirati Therapeutics prior to when it put out pleasing clinical results.
Via the indictment, it was alleged that O’Connor, one of Joe Lewis’s pilots, chatted with a friend that he presumed “the Boss has inside info”.
Following the announcement of positive results by Mirati, their share price grew by 16.7% in 24 hours and both pilots paid back Lewis for his loans as it has been alleged.
Who is Joe Lewis?
Joe Lewis is a self-made British billionaire who was born in London, but he isn’t frequently seen in the UK.
According to Forbes, the 86-year-old has an estimated fortune of a staggering £4.3 billion.
The man who was born in London, England is the founder and chief investor of Bahamas-based investment firm Tavistock Group.
Lewis purchased a controlling stake in Tottenham Hotspur from Lord Sugar in 2001 for £22 million and he has also been pictured with Daniel Levy.
The octogenarian officially relinquished control of the club in 2022, handing the helm to Bahamian lawyer Bryan A Glinton.
Joe Lewis’ stake in Spurs, which he held through the ENIC Group in partnership with Daniel Levy, was officially given to a family trust in 2022.
Family members of Joe Lewis remain recipients of the trust, including his daughter Vivienne Lewis Silverton, who is seen as his heir.
Vivienne Lewis Silverton also serves on Tavistock’s board of directors, while the 86-year-old son, whose name is Charles Lewis owns the superyacht named Aviva.
Tottenham Hotspur have distanced themselves from owner Joe Lewis
Tottenham Hotspur, who are currently having their preseason tour in Asia have distanced themselves from Joe Lewis and the allegations.
It is believed that the Premier League do not consider the British billionaire as the person in control of Spurs and as such they are not subject to their owners’ and directors’ test.
Spurs have expressed that the ongoing matter is a “legal” one and it is “unconnected with the club” and based on that they wouldn’t comment on it.