The name of the former Amaya CEO David Baazov has been under serious media fire over the past several years. The bombshell news that Mr. Baazov is allegedly involved in an insider trading scheme has shaken the very foundations of the Canadian online gambling conglomerate Amaya. The company had a hard time to move on from its infamous past and open a new chapter. Last year, the gambling company announced that it has completed its planned re-branding as The Stars Group and it has relocated its headquarters from Montreal to Toronto.
The growing insider trading scandal triggered a massive investigation launched by the Quebec’s securities regulator Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF). Even though Amaya managed to clean its reputation, David Baazov is still under fire for allegations about the use of confidential company information to influence Amaya securities’ market price.
As a result, Amaya’s ex-CEO and his associates faced insider trading charges. In November last year, it surfaced that Baazov asked the Quebec court to dismiss all the charges against him due to delays in moving the case forward. Next week, a judge is set to rule on his application.
The AMF raided a number of business offices and private properties as part of the ongoing investigation. But it seems that the entangled insider trading case is getting even more complicated. According to the latest news, Rabbi Momi Pinto, his wife and three children filed a lawsuit against the AMF earlier this month.
Pinto Family Sues Quebec’s Securities Regulator
The Globe and Mail reported that the family claims that Quebec’s securities watchdog conducted an unlawful search of their home in Montreal. In September, investigators have raided Pinto’s two-storey house over allegations of a suspicious link to the Amaya Inc. insider trading case.
The lawsuit states that the family is asking for a compensation of $230,000 over damaged property. Lawyer Julius Grey, who is representing the Pinto family commented that the case manifests the regulator’s “high-handedness”. The regulator stated that it will contest the family’s claim, but no further details were provided.
Speaking of the case, Mr. Pinto explained that the securities regulatory had no grounds to search his property or even involve him in Amaya’s case. Last September, AMF investigator Xavier Saint-Pierre obtained a search warrant from the court to raid a property allegedly owned by Yosef Ifergan.
According to the court materials, Mr. Ifergan was used to cover Craig Levett, David Baazov and his brother Josh Baazov’s illegal activities, and more precisely to sell a large block of shares in the Montreal-based gambling giant. This aspect of the investigation is still underway, but there are no filed charges by far.