David Baazov, the embattled CEO of Canadian online gambling company Amaya Gaming, has pled not guilty to the insider trading charges filed against him in March.
On Monday, Quebec securities regulator Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) confirmed that Baazov (pictured), two other individuals and three companies had formally filed written pleas of ‘not guilty’ to their combined 23 insider trading charges, each of which carries a maximum fine of up to $5m and up to five years in prison.
AMF spokesman Sylvain Theberge told the Canadian Press that the guilty pleas had been received over the past couple weeks and that Quebec courts would soon begin the process of selecting a judge and setting trial dates.
The AMF originally announced that the charges stemmed from suspicious trading patterns in the run-up to Amaya’s 2014 purchase of the parent company of online gambling brand PokerStars and Full Tilt. The AMF later claimed that the sketchy trading dated back to 2010 and involved a total of seven companies.
The AMF alleged that Baazov, who announced he was taking an indefinite leave of absence shortly after the AMF’s expanded investigation was announced, funneled privileged information to his older brother Josh aka Ofer Baazov. The elder Baazov allegedly passed this info on to Craig Levett, who (along with others) reportedly went on to generate $1.5m in illegal profits via timely stock trades.
The elder Baazov and Levett were previously linked to BetonUSA.com, a US-facing online gambling site that appears to have morphed into Oddsmaker.ag following the 2006 passage of America’s Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.
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