• General
  • July 26, 2023
  • 4 minutes read

British Billionaire Joe Lewis Indicted In The U.S. For Insider Trading

Joe Lewis, a British billionaire famous for owning the Tottenham Hotspur soccer team, is in the crosshairs of American authorities…

British billionaire Joe Lewis

Joe Lewis, a British billionaire famous for owning the Tottenham Hotspur soccer team, is in the crosshairs of American authorities for alleged insider trading. The U.S. Justice Department has filed criminal charges against Lewis for “orchestrating a brazen insider trading scheme”, it announced on Tuesday.

Prosecutors allege that Lewis abused his access to corporate boards to feed insider information to his romantic partners, personal assistants, private pilots, and friends, enabling them to earn millions of dollars in trading profits.

“None of this was necessary. Joe Lewis is a wealthy man,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a video announcement posted on X, the popular social media platform formerly known as Twitter. “But as we allege, he used inside information as a way to compensate his employees or shower gifts on his friends and lovers,” Williams continued. “That’s classic corporate corruption. It’s cheating. And it’s against the law.”

Lewis was indicted with 16 counts of securities fraud and 3 counts of conspiracy to commit fraud. According to a personal lawyer, Lewis has arrived in the US to face the charges.

  • Joe Lewis is a billionaire several times over, with a personal net worth of $6.6bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He owns the Tavistock Group, a Bahamas-based investment firm with an extensive global portfolio spanning real estate, financial services, agriculture, manufacturing, and many other sectors.


  • Lewis is mostly famous for owning Tottenham Hotspur, a club that competes in the British Premier League. He acquired a controlling stake in the club in 2001 and has overseen its massive expansion. Tottenham Hotspur is valued at $2.8bn, according to Forbes, compared to roughly $30mn that Lewis paid for the club in 2001.


  • Lewis made his first fortune by expanding and selling a family business in the 1970s. He moved into currency trading in the 1980s and relocated from his home base of England to the Bahamas as a tax exile. All hasn’t been rosy in his investment career; he famously lost over $1bn when Bear Stearns, an American investment bank, collapsed in the 2008 Great Recession.

Lewis’s alleged insider trading activities took place from 2013 to 2021. He allegedly lent money to the associates he gave insider tips, including $1mn to his private pilots to buy shares in Mirati Therapeutics, a cancer drug developer. The pilots repaid their loans after Mirati announced favourable results from a clinical trial, pushing its shares up 16%, prosecutors said.

Lewis was also accused of conspiring to defraud Mirati by using shell companies and other means to hide his more than 20% ownership in the company. He will be tried in the Southern District of New York and faces many years in prison if convicted of the criminal allegations.

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