Spurs owner Lewis surrenders over trading charges

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Tottenham owner Joe Lewis has surrendered to U.S. authorities in New York and is expected to appear in court later Wednesday to face insider trading charges, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan said.

Prosecutors said Lewis exploited his access to corporate boardrooms by passing on tips about companies in which he invested to friends, personal assistants, private pilots and romantic partners, enabling them to reap millions of dollars of profit.

Lewis, 86, who founded investment firm Tavistock Group, was charged with 16 counts of securities fraud and three counts of conspiracy in relation to alleged crimes spanning from 2013 to 2021.

“None of this was necessary. Joe Lewis is a wealthy man,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a video on social media.

“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’ lawyer, David Zornow, said prosecutors “made an egregious error” in charging Lewis and said his client had come to the United States voluntarily to defend himself against the charges.

A Tottenham spokesperson said: “This is a legal matter unconnected with the club, and as such we have no comment.”

Lewis is worth $6.1 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

Separately on Wednesday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil insider trading case against Lewis and three other defendants. The SEC said Lewis’ then-girlfriend Carolyn Carter and longtime private pilots Patrick O’Connor and Bryan Waugh reaped more than $545,000 in illegal profit from his tips.

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