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Billionaire Tottenham Soccer Club Owner Joe Lewis Charged in Insider Trading Scandal

By Jake Beardslee · July 26, 2023

In brief…

  • Joe Lewis, billionaire owner of Tottenham Hotspur, was indicted in New York for allegedly running an insider trading scheme from 2013-2021.
  • Prosecutors say Lewis provided inside info on companies to friends, lovers, assistants and pilots who then made millions in profit on stock trades.
  • Lewis' lawyer slammed the charges as an "egregious error," saying Lewis is a man of "impeccable integrity" who will fight the case in court.
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Club owner Joe Lewis was indicted in New York on charges of orchestrating an insider trading scheme over 8 years.  Acabashi, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

New York - Joe Lewis, the billionaire owner of Premier League football club Tottenham Hotspur, has been indicted in New York on charges of orchestrating an insider trading scheme over nearly a decade.

Lewis, 86, is accused of exploiting his access to corporate boardrooms by providing inside information to friends, employees and associates, enabling them to execute profitable stock trades.

“For years, Joe Lewis abused his access to corporate boardrooms and repeatedly provided inside information to his romantic partners, his personal assistants, his private pilots and his friends,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams of the Southern District of New York.

Prosecutors claim that between 2013 and 2021, Lewis supplied confidential information on upcoming mergers, earnings reports and regulatory decisions, allowing his circle of associates to earn millions in illicit profits.

Lewis’ lawyer, David Zornow, contested the charges, stating that the government had made an “egregious error in judgment” in indicting a man of “impeccable integrity.” Zornow said Lewis had voluntarily traveled to the U.S. to defend himself in court.

Lewis, whose net worth is estimated at $5 billion by Forbes, acquired a controlling stake in Tottenham from Alan Sugar in 2001 for £22 million. The club is now worth an estimated $2.35 billion and is one of the highest-earning football clubs in the world.

Lewis resides in the Bahamas and founded the investment firm Tavistock Group.

The 16 counts of securities fraud and 3 counts of conspiracy follow a years-long investigation into Lewis’ business dealings and relationships. The trial is expected to shine a light on how the ultra-wealthy leverage insider access to generate outsized investment returns.