• General
  • January 24, 2024
  • 3 minutes read

British Tycoon Joe Lewis Pleads Guilty In U.S. Insider Trading Case

British tycoon Joe Lewis has pled guilty to insider trading charges filed by the United States Justice Department last July.…

British billionaire Joe Lewis

British tycoon Joe Lewis has pled guilty to insider trading charges filed by the United States Justice Department last July. He pled guilty to three counts of securities fraud at a Manhattan federal court on Wednesday.

“While I possessed material non-public information about certain publicly traded companies, I agreed to make recommendations to three other people to purchase stock in those companies”, Lewis told federal judge Jessica Clarke in a Wednesday court hearing. “I knew at the time what I was doing was wrong and I’m so embarrassed.”

Prosecutors filed criminal charges against Lewis in July 2023, accusing him of “orchestrating a brazen insider trading scheme.” According to prosecutors, Lewis, who sat on various corporate boards, abused his position to feed insider information to romantic partners, personal assistants, private pilots, and friends. Prosecutors alleged that his associates earned millions of dollars in profits trading on those tips.

For instance, prosecutors claim Lewis tipped off his girlfriend to buy shares of Solid Biosciences, a Nasdaq-listed drugmaker, after learning about a clinical trial and an imminent private investment the company had secured. The girlfriend paid $700,000 for her shares and made a $849,000 profit selling them later, prosecutors said.

Lewis himself wasn’t accused of trading on his tips. The U.S. Justice Department indicted him with 16 counts of securities fraud and 3 counts of conspiracy to commit fraud. He admitted to just three counts in a plea deal with prosecutors, which will significantly reduce any prison sentence, or if at all. Lewis waived his right to appeal unless he gets jail time, his lawyer said.

  • Lewis faces separate civil charges from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) along with his former girlfriend and the two private pilots he allegedly gave insider information.


  • The private pilots, Bryan Waugh and Patrick O’Connor, are facing criminal charges from the U.S. Justice Department, but Lewis’s former girlfriend, Carolyn Carter, wasn’t criminally charged.

Multibillionaire Joe Lewis owns the Tavistock Group, a Bahamas-based conglomerate with interests spanning real estate, agriculture, manufacturing, financial services, and more. But he’s best known for owning the British soccer club Tottenham Hotspur F.C.

Lewis kicked off his career by converting his father’s catering business into a chain of themed restaurants, which he sold to make his initial fortune. He pivoted to currency trading and moved from the U.K. to the Bahamas as a tax exile; he made hundreds of millions shorting currencies, including the British pound and Mexican pesos, in the 1990s.


  • Joe Lewis has a net worth of nearly $8bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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