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Tottenham Hotspur billionaire Joe Lewis pleads guilty to insider trading charges in US

British billionaire Joe Lewis has pleaded guilty to a number of criminal charges in the US after he was charged with insider trading last year.

The 86-year-old, whose family trust controls a majority of Tottenham Hotspur, has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and two counts of securities fraud.

He was charged in July 2023 with passing inside information on his portfolio companies to two of his private pilots as well as friends, personal assistants and romantic partners.

This enabled them to reap millions of dollars in profit, according to prosecutors.

Lewis told the New York court on Wednesday: "I am so embarrassed and I apologise to the court for my conduct."

He said he knew at the time that what he was doing was wrong.

The businessman founded the investment firm Tavistock Group and is worth approximately $6.2bn (£4.8bn), according to Forbes.

Lewis will plead not guilty to the remaining charges against him, which include 14 counts of securities fraud and two counts of conspiracy, for alleged crimes spanning from 2013 to 2021.

The pilots who were leaked information, Patrick O'Connor and Bryan Waugh, were also charged and entered not guilty pleas last July.

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Lewis has been able to remain free from prison so far due to a $300m bond secured by his yacht and private plane.

The terms of his bail restrict him from travelling outside the US, boarding his yacht or travelling in his personal aircraft unless it is to attend a court hearing.