Gulf Today

Spurs’ mogul Lewis spared prison for insider trading


NEW YORK: Billionair­e Totenham Hotspur mogul Joe Lewis has avoided prison in an insider trading case, with a New York judge on Thursday instead giving him three years’ probation and a $5 million fine.

Judge Jessica Clarke also imposed sweeping restrictio­ns on his company Broadbay, calling his offending ‘undoubtedl­y serious’ but sparing the 87-year-old businessma­n from time behind bars.

“I’m here today because I made a terrible mistake. I’m ashamed, I’m sorry,” Lewis said in a hushed voice before sentencing, following his guilty plea for supplying insider market informatio­n to acquaintan­ces.

He could have faced between 18 and 24 months’ imprisonme­nt for the charges, according to prosecutor­s.

Lewis, who was visibly emotional at times, cut a frail figure in the courtroom, dressed in a grey suit with an eyepatch over his let eye.

He was flanked by two lawyers who argued he should be spared imprisonme­nt because of his failing health and impending eye surgery.

Lewis pleaded for leniency, describing the trauma of his upbringing at the height of the Second World War, and promising to make amends “with the time I have let.”

Lewis furnished employees, including his private pilots, and lovers with insider informatio­n for years in a “brazen” scheme between 2013 and 2021 that raked in millions of dollars.

Stock tips provided by Lewis included confidenti­al informatio­n about upcoming favorable test results for biochemica­l companies, the Manhatan court heard.

‘EMBARRASSM­ENT AND HUMILIATIO­N:’ The court heard that in 2019 Lewis lent his two pilots $500,000 each so that they could buy Mirati Therapeuti­cs stock before the public release of the clinical results.

One of the pilots allegedly messaged a friend to buy the stock, telling them that he thought “the Boss has inside info.”

Lewis is reported to be one of Britain’s richest men with a fortune that Forbes puts at $6.2 billion, building his reputation as a currency speculator in the 1980s and early 1990s.

His holding company ENIC bought a controllin­g interest in Totenham Hotspur Football Club in 2001 from then-owner Alan Sugar, another prominent British tycoon, for $22 million.

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