Quebec AMF accuses David Baazov of being part of a sophisticated insider trading network


Quebec’s Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) has accused former Amaya Inc CEO David Baazov of being part of a ‘sophisticated’ network of insider traders, by which privileged information was exchanged for ‘kickbacks’.

Presenting court documents, the AMF states that it has found six-years of insider trading evidence against Baazov and 12 close associates, including his brother Josh.

The AMF who first brought its charges against Baazov in March stated that the network of insiders operated a ‘refined system’ using coded language to conceal trades on mergers and acquisitions that were yet to be made public.

The individuals involved in the network would hide their kickbacks via luxury exchanges made with each other such as a $13,000 Rolex Daytona watch and cash payments. At present, the AMF stated that the accused had generated approximately $1.5 million in profits.

David Baazov is accused of being central to the illegal trades, filtering privileged information as the network operated in a pyramid-like fashion. The AMF states that it has gathered its evidence via accessed emails, text messages, phone calls and bank transactions, declaring its case to be the biggest in Canadian corporate history.  

With regards to Amaya’s 2014 $4.9 billion acquisition of Oldford Group, the former holding company of PokerStars, Baazov and his associates having been accused of trading on privileged information, influencing or attempting to influence the market price of Amaya securities.

Baazov’s involvement with insider trades further extends to deals made by Amaya for industry software provider Cryptologic Ltd in 2012, plus further revealing privileged information regarding Scientific Games’ purchase of WMS Industries Inc in 2013 for $1.5 billion.

Responding to the AMF charges, Baazov legal representatives stated that “Mr. Baazov is innocent of any wrongdoing and he is eager to present his defence”. The AMF will continue to present its evidence against David Baazov in the coming days.

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