Multi-Billionaire whose family trust owns Tottenham Hotspurs refuses insider trading
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Multi-Billionaire whose family trust owns Tottenham Hotspurs refuses insider trading

Multi-Billionaire whose family trust owns Tottenham Hotspurs refuses insider trading

The British billionaire Joe Lewis, whose family trust owns Tottenham, was released on bail by a New York magistrate after pleading not guilty to insider trading charges.

The 86-year-old, who faces 16 counts of securities fraud and three counts of conspiracy, appeared in Manhattan Federal Court on Wednesday for an arraignment hearing.

After entering a not guilty plea, Lewis was reportedly released on parole of $300 million (£230 million) secured by a yacht and private aircraft of equal value.

Lewis, along with two of his pilots who face similar accusations, must remain in the United States.

Lewis, who was arrested on Wednesday morning, is alleged to have used his access to confidential information to provide stock recommendations to close associates, with the indictment noting that one girlfriend made $849,000 (£657,000) from one of these tips.

David Zornow, Lewis’ attorney from the firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, stated, “The government has made an egregious error in prosecuting Mr. Lewis, an 86-year-old man of impeccable integrity and prodigious achievement.

“Mr. Lewis has voluntarily come to the United States to answer these ill-conceived charges, and we will vigorously defend him in court.”

Each of the first thirteen counts of securities fraud entails a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, according to a statement released Wednesday by Manhattan prosecutors.

Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced on Tuesday that Lewis had been indicted for a “egregious insider trading scheme.”

Prosecutors asserted that Lewis received material, non-public information about certain companies due to his investments in these firms.

Prosecutors alleged in a statement released on Wednesday that Lewis “misused and misappropriated this confidential information to provide stock tips to various individuals in his life, including his employees, romantic partners, and friends, in order to compensate and gift them.”

It added: “These individuals, in turn, traded on the tips provided by Lewis for vast personal gain.”

Lewis acquired a controlling stake in Spurs for £22 million in 2001.

Last year, he officially relinquished control of the club, with Bahamian attorney Bryan A. Glinton taking his place as director, according to Companies House.

His stake in the club, which he held through the ENIC Group with Daniel Levy, was officially transferred to a family trust last year.

Lewis’ relatives remain beneficiaries of the trust.

PA has learned that the Premier League does not regard Lewis to be a controlling person at Tottenham, and therefore he is not subject to the league’s owners’ and directors’ test.

A Tottenham representative stated, “This is a legal matter unrelated to the club, so we have no comment.”

US prosecutors allege that Lewis fraudulently disclosed the extent of his ownership shares in the pharmaceutical company Mirati “through an elaborate array of shell companies and other entities, including an offshore trust purportedly for the benefit of his granddaughter”

Prosecutors claim that because of this alleged false disclosure, he was able to execute warrants in Mirati that he would not have been able to execute otherwise, “at great financial gain.”

Patrick O’Connor and Bryan Waugh, two pilots employed by Lewis to operate his private aircraft, were also charged. In one instance, it is alleged that Lewis loaned each of them $500,000 (over £387,000) to purchase shares in a company prior to its public announcement of favorable clinical results.

Christie M. Curtis, acting assistant director in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), stated, “As alleged, Mr. Lewis regarded material, non-public information at his disposal as something he could share with his friends and associates for their benefit.

“Not only is this type of conduct – flagrant disregard for the law – unlawful, but it also undermines the integrity of our financial markets.

“The FBI is determined to ensure that anyone willing to perpetrate insider trading schemes is held accountable by the United States criminal justice system.”

Multi-Billionaire whose family trust owns Tottenham Hotspurs refuses insider trading