Joe Lewis, the British billionaire behind one of the world’s biggest investing fortunes, continues to buy and sell stocks at the center of U.S. insider-trading allegations against him.

Since being charged by U.S. federal prosecutors in July, the Tavistock Group founder has repeatedly traded shares of Mirati Therapeutics Inc., Australian Agricultural Co. and Tango Therapeutics Inc., according to data compiled by Bloomberg from regulatory filings. His stakes in those companies—three of the five behind the indictment’s claims—total about $540 million.

Lewis, 86, is accused of abusing his access to corporate boardrooms to pass inside information to his friends, staff, personal pilots and romantic interests. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and there’s no suggestion of wrongdoing in his latest transactions. A representative for the billionaire’s biotech investment firm, Boxer Capital, declined to comment, while a representative for Lewis didn’t respond to a request for comment.

“That he’s been charged does not, and should not, and cannot interfere with his normal life, his normal business, or his normal trading,” said Brad Bondi, a securities litigator and former lawyer for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “These are just allegations that the government is making.”

Lewis is the world’s 315th-richest person with a net worth of about $7.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He made his initial fortune in the hospitality industry and currency markets. His empire also spans five-star hotels, restaurant chains and Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, though he is no longer involved in the Premier League team.

The recent trades give an insight into Lewis’s business activities since he was arrested after voluntarily surrendering in New York, making him the highest-profile investor swept up in a recent insider-trading crackdown by federal prosecutors. He’s currently out on bail after pledging his 321-foot superyacht and private jet as collateral, and is next due to appear in court in early January.

“The government has made an egregious error in judgment in charging Mr. Lewis,” his lawyer, David M. Zornow, said in a statement at the time of his arrest. “We will defend him vigorously in court.” 

Boxer Capital

Boxer Capital, the vehicle for Lewis’s biotech bets including Mirati and Tango, has disclosed gains of 7,500% over the past two decades in regulatory filings. In that period, the San Diego-based firm allocated capital to at least 110 companies as Lewis increasingly diversified the fortune he turbo-charged with a successful bet on the British pound and Mexican peso in the 1990s.

Boxer has more than doubled its money on at least five stocks in its current $1.9 billion portfolio, which comprises about 75 U.S.-listed biotech firms, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from filings. 

The month after his arrest, Lewis bought $33.4 million of Mirati for $27.80 per share, resulting in gains of more than 100% after Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. agreed in October to buy the cancer drugmaker. Boxer first surfaced as a Mirati shareholder a decade ago, meaning its early investment has earned a return of more than 700%.

According to prosecutors, Lewis allegedly told several people to buy Mirati shares in 2019 after hearing that it had received positive results in a clinical trial. Lewis also allegedly passed along tips about beef producer Australian Agricultural, resulting in losses for his private pilots, Patrick O’Connor and Bryan ‘Marty’ Waugh, who have also been charged. Both pleaded not guilty.

A trust for Lewis and his family boosted its majority stake in Australian Agricultural in September. It now holds almost $300 million of the firm’s stock, the largest of the UK billionaire’s investments named in the insider-trading charges. 

Boxer Capital’s biggest position is in Mirati with a 4.5% disclosed stake worth almost $190 million following its latest purchases. The biotech-focused company also bought and sold stock between August and October in Tango, which merged in 2021 with BCTG Acquisition Corp., a Boxer Capital-backed blank-check firm that also forms part of the indictment against Lewis.

Those investments are likely to garner further attention if Lewis’s case goes to trial, though for now he’s free to continue trading.

“The government has to prove these allegations,” Bondi said. “Anyone is innocent until proven guilty.”

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.