David Baazov, the CEO of online gaming company Amaya, is under investigation by Quebec’s security regulator, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) for alleged insider trading. Baazov faces 5 charges relating to the acquisition of Pokerstars owners Oldford Group Ltd. An employee and advisor are also under investigation with a total of 23 charges filed.
Baazov was propelled into the limelight in December 2014 when Forbes Magazine ran an article about the businessman titled ‘The King of Online Gambling’. This was following Amaya’s incredible takeover of the company behind the largest online poker site in the world – Pokerstars. That deal may now come back to haunt Baazoov and his colleagues as the charges against him include “for aiding with trades while in possession of privileged information, influencing or attempting to influence the market price of the securities of Amaya inc., and communicating privileged information” according to a relase by AMF.
Baazov denies any wrong doing brandishing the charges from the AMF as ‘false’.
“These allegations are false and I intend to vigorously contest these accusations”he said in a statement.
“While I am deeply disappointed with the AMF’s decision, I am highly confident I will be found innocent of all charges,” he added.
The AMF have been quick to respond, with President and CEO Louis Morisset telling journalists: “We have made suppressing illegal insider trading and market manipulation a top priority, as this type of conduct profoundly affects public confidence and the integrity of our markets.”
Trading in Amaya’s shares were halted early on Wednesday as the market absorbed the details of these extrodinary events.
The charges could potentially affect his proposed takeover of Amaya, which Gamingslots reported on recently. It will certainly give potential investors something to think about.