Baazov pleads not guilty to insider-trading charges


The chief executive of Amaya Gaming has pled not guilty to a number of securities-related charges, in a case which has seen him accused of engaging in alleged insider trading activity by Quebec’s Financial Markets Authority (AMF).

David Baazov (pictured) heads up Amaya, which as of 2014 owns international online poker platform  PokerStars, but took indefinite paid leave in March – after charges were levelled at him and two of his close associates.

The three men stand accused of 23 individual offences, including aiding with trades whilst in possession of privileged information, attempting to influence the market price of Amaya securities and illegally disseminating privileged information.

Last saw all three defendants formally submit written pleas of not-guilty to a court in Quebec.

The charges in question relate to Amaya’s two-year-old purchase of the Oldford Group – the $4.9bn (E4.3bn) transaction in which Pokerstars was brought under its control.

Under Canadian law, those found guilty of insider trading risk a potential fine of anything between C$5,000 (E3,390) and C$5m (E3.4m), as well as a five-year jail term.

Baazov previously asserted his innocence in a public statement released to the media in March.

“These allegations are false and I intend to vigorously contest these accusations,” he said. “While I am deeply disappointed with the AMF’s decision, I am highly confident I will be found innocent of all charges.”

According to AMF spokesperson Sylvain Theberge, the case will now be forwarded to the local judicial authorities for judge selection and a setting of trial dates.