Tottenham Hotspur owner Joe Lewis has been charged with “orchestrating a brazen insider trader scheme”, US attorney Damian Williams has said.
Mr Williams used a video announcement to accuse the British billionaire of using inside information to “shower gifts on his friends and lovers”.
Mr Lewis “has been indicted and will face justice” in the Southern District of New York (SDNY), Mr Williams said.
A lawyer for Mr Lewis said charging him was an “egregious error in judgement”.
Lawyer David Zornow added that the 86-year-old had come to the US voluntarily to defend himself against the “ill-conceived charges”.
A Tottenham Hotspur spokesperson said in a statement: “This is a legal matter unconnected with the club and as such we have no comment.”
Allegations against Mr Lewis were laid out in a video statement posted to Mr Williams’ Twitter. A formal written statement, known as an indictment, is yet to be released.
“We allege that, for years, Joe Lewis abused his access to corporate board rooms and repeatedly provided inside information to his romantic partners, his personal assistants, his private pilots, and his friends,” Mr Williams said in the video.
Mr Williams, the chief federal law enforcement officer for the SDNY, alleged that Mr Lewis’s acquaintances used that information to make millions of dollars in the stock market.
“Thanks to [Mr] Lewis, those bets were a sure thing,” he claimed.
Mr Lewis is reported to be one of Britain’s richest men. He owns hundreds of assets, including Premier League London club Tottenham Hotspur which he bought from Sir Alan Sugar in 2001 for £22m.
He also owns a stake in UK pub chain Mitchells & Butlers. He was ranked 39th in the 2023 Sunday Times Rich List, with an estimated worth of more than £5bn.