Joseph Lewis, an 86-year-old British billionaire, and the owner of the Tavistock Group, a private investment firm, as well as a majority share in the English Premier League football club Tottenham Hotspur, has confessed to allegations of insider trading in a federal court in the United States. He was accused of sharing privileged information about the companies he had invested in with his private pilots, friends, personal assistants, and romantic partners, resulting in millions of dollars of illicit gains.
In a court in New York, Lewis admitted to one count of conspiracy and two counts of securities fraud. These charges are related to an alleged scheme where he provided insider information to individuals close to him. Additionally, Lewis’ firm, Broad Bay Ltd., pleaded guilty to participating in a scheme to conceal his ownership of shares in a pharmaceutical company by submitting false filings and providing misleading financial statements. As part of its plea, Broad Bay Ltd. has agreed to pay $50 million in penalties.
According to US authorities, Lewis unlawfully utilized inside information that he had obtained through his access to corporate boardrooms to benefit his acquaintances. Damian Williams, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney who led the prosecution, stated, “Lewis misused inside information gained through his access to corporate boardrooms to inform his friends, employees, and romantic interests. Now, he will face a federal conviction, the possibility of imprisonment, and the largest financial penalty for insider trading in a decade.”
For the charges, Lewis could potentially be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for March. His arrest in July 2023 marked a significant turning point in the case, as he allegedly encouraged his private aircraft pilots to purchase shares in Mirati Therapeutics before the company publicly disclosed positive results from a clinical trial.
Responding to the guilty pleas, a spokesperson for Lewis issued a statement, acknowledging, “Today, Joe Lewis admitted to his involvement in a number of stock trades made by individuals close to him.” The statement underlined that Lewis did not partake in inappropriate trading in his personal accounts and expressed remorse for his actions, conveying that Lewis is “deeply sorry, embarrassed, and extends his apologies to the Court, his family, and all those who have come to rely on him.”
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