The CEO and co-founder of AMAYA INC (NASDAQ:AYA) David Baazov has entered a not-guilty plea to charges levied against him by Quebec authorities in March. These are allegations concerning insider trading linked to Amaya’s business dealing in the last few years.
Baazov has dismissed the allegations from the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), Quebec’s financial regulatory body. Baazov, two other individuals, and three corporate organizations were charged, with 23 counts, linked to insider trading allegations. It was claimed that Baazov supplied classified financial information to his associates.
Baazov was mentioned on five of the 23 charges leveled by the AMF, which include as per an AMF statement from March, “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.”
Baazov has gone on an indefinite leave of absence from his position of CEO as well as Chairman of the Board. As per Sylvain Theberge, all the charged parties have entered not-guilty pleas. Two friends of Baazov, Benjamin Ahdoot and Yoel Altman were charged. Altman serves Pinetree Capital Corporation as a senior financial analyst. Ahdoot is Vice President of Government Projects at Amaya. Altman and Ahdoot face six and four counts respectively linked to the insider-trading allegations.
The three corporate organizations that were charged include 2374879 Ontario Inc, Sababa Consulting Inc and Diocles Capital Inc.
The charges against everybody go back to late 2013. From December of 2013 till June 2014 as the deal to absorb PokerStars was going on at Amaya, the persons and organizations accused have been charged of utilizing priviliged information in the trading of Amaya shares.
The charges were made public just two days after PokerStars debuted in New Jersey. The insider trading scandal dampens the enthusiasm of PokerStars releasing in America after several years of non-operation in the US states.
The former CEO has five charges with each charge involving a fine from $5,000 to $5 million. A prison sentence of up to five years may also be enforced.