A Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) tribunal convened in Montreal, Canada, on October 5, 2016, to hear evidence against the 12 people that reportedly benefited from Canada’s largest insider trading investigation. One of those 12, David Baazov was noticeably absent. During the hearing, Baazov’s attorney Sophie Melchers presented evidence showing that the information that Baazov is accused of passing along to his brother Josh and Montreal businessmen Craig Levitt was part of the public domain.
Earlier during a September 14,2016, cease-trade application in front of the same tribunal Xavier Saint-Pierre with the AMF declared that the evidence against Baazov was mainly circumstantial, saying that they had no direct evidence that Baazov committed any insider trading violations. During the October hearing, Philippe Levasseur, a lawyer with the AMF says that direct evidence does not happen in these cases because the AMF does not have the authority to tap people’s phones.
David Baazov who was the former CEO of Amaya is accused of telling his older brother Josh and Montreal businessmen Craig Levett insider information that allowed Levett to purchase the Rationale Group for $4.9 billion. Josh and Craig are also being charged with sharing the information with 10 other individuals who also benefitted from the deal. Craig and Josh previously owned BetonUSA.com which investigators say may have become Oddsmaker.ag when the United States government enacted the Unlawful Internet Enforcement Act in 2006.
Saint-Pierre says that the only information that the only information that investigators with the AMF have been able to uncover is one email where Levitt asked Josh for his support during Amaya’s 2011 purchase of Cryprogogic, a software firm. Earlier the AMF said that they were focusing on seven different companies, but they now seem to be centering their investigation on this one transaction that may have netted Levitt and Josh Baazov $1.5 million dollars.
David Baazov says that he will be thankful when he is exonerated of all charges because he did nothing wrong. He filed written no guilty pleas in a Canada courtroom in May. David denies sharing any information that might have benefitted his brother or any other person who has been accused of wrongdoing. Others indicted on charges related to the case include Nathalie Bensmihan, Isam Mansour, Mona Kassfy, Allie Mansour, John Chatzidakis, Eleni Psicharis, Alain Anawati, Karl Fallenbaum, Earl Levett, Feras Antoon and Mark Wael Antoon.
Amaya has conducted their own internal investigation and says that they can find no signs of wrongdoing. They say they have fully cooperated with authorities in this manner and are ready to move on for the benefit of their customers under the leadership of their new CEO. Amaya’s profits were up slightly during the second quarter.