Joe Lewis: British billionaire and former Spurs owner avoids jail over insider trading scheme

Prosecutors say the 87-year-old collected inside information about four companies in which he had invested, and tipped off friends and associates between 2019 and 2021.

British billionaire Joe Lewis has avoided a jail sentence after admitting he orchestrated an insider trading scheme that helped those around him make millions.

The former Tottenham Hotspur owner, who lives in the Bahamas, tipped off his girlfriend, friends, and two of his private pilots with inside information on four publicly-traded companies, which they used to get rich, prosecutors in New York said.

In January, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and two counts of securities fraud, admitting in court he had known he was breaking the law.

But prosecutors had said he deserved leniency because of his age, bad health and willingness to come to the US to face the charges, rather than force a protracted extradition battle.

In court on Thursday, the 87-year-old was sentenced to three years’ probation and fined $5m (£4m).

Before he was sentenced, Lewis spoke briefly, saying: “Your honour, I’m here today because I made a terrible mistake.

“I’m ashamed.”

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