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British billionaire fined $5 million for insider trading

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British billionaire Joe Lewis, owner of Tottenham Hotspur football club, was fined $5 million by a US judge for insider trading.

Lewis, aged 87, avoided prison but was sentenced to three years of probation after pleading guilty to conspiracy and securities fraud.

Lewis, founder of the Tavistock Group, expressed remorse for his actions and was allowed to leave the US on his private aircraft. His yacht, the Aviva, will be held until his fine is paid.

Prosecutors revealed that Lewis passed insider information to pilots, friends, and associates, enabling them to profit millions. Lewis agreed to a plea deal, including a $50 million fine for his Bahamas company and resigning from board seats.

Lewis, worth $6.2 billion according to Forbes, collected insider information about companies he invested in and shared it between 2019 and 2021. Pilots implicated in the scheme also made illegal profits, with one pleading guilty and another denying wrongdoing.

The lenient sentence was influenced by Lewis’s age, health issues, and cooperation with authorities.