oe Lewis pleaded not guilty to US insider trading charges at a Manhattan federal court on Wednesday.
The British billionaire earlier in the day surrendered himself to US authorities in New York and has now entered his plea in front of US Magistrate Judge Valerie Figueredo.
Lewis was indicted by New York prosecutors for “orchestrating a brazen insider trading scheme”. He has been charged with 16 counts of securities fraud and three counts of conspiracy.
The billionaire is alleged to have “abused his access to corporate board rooms and repeatedly provided inside information” in order to “shower gifts on his friends and lovers”.
A lawyer for Lewis said charging the 86-year-old was an “egregious error in judgment”.
It is unclear whether the indictment could raise significant issues for Lewis and Tottenham.
The Premier League owners’ and directors’ test is designed to stop people with criminal convictions owning a club. Lewis bought a controlling stake in Tottenham from Alan Sugar for £22million in 2001.
But he ceased to be “a person with significant control” of Tottenham last year, following what the club described as a “reorganisation of the Lewis Family Trusts”, which hold the shares in Spurs.
A Tottenham spokesperson said: “This is a legal matter unconnected with the club and as such we have no comment.”
Lewis’s lawyer David M. Zornow said in a statement to Standard Sport: “The government has made an egregious error in judgment in charging Mr. Lewis, an 86-year-old man of impeccable integrity and prodigious accomplishment. Mr. Lewis has come to the US voluntarily to answer these ill-conceived charges, and we will defend him vigorously in court.”
This story was last updated at 7pm BST on Wednesday, July 27, 2023.