The Stars Group, the Canadian gambling giant that has been making the headlines because of its involvement in Canada’s biggest insider-trading case, is now challenged to overcome yet another. Earlier today, the media agency Thr Globe and Mail found out that Gideon Van Kessel from Florida has filed an $8-million lawsuit against The Stars Group (formerly known as Amaya), claiming that the company failed to compensate him for the work he performed at the company as a consultant and strategic adviser.
This Tuesday, the plaintiff filed his claim in Broward County, Florida. The man worked as a consultant and strategic adviser to the Stars Group for nearly four years. According to the lawsuit, former Amaya CEO David Baazov and The Stars Group prevented Van Kessel from acquiring other gaming-related business units.
The man also claims that Amaya did not pay certain people of its personnel for the work they performed, following the company’s raid by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Autorité des marchés financiers (the securities regulator of the Quebec province) in December 2014. The investigation was launched several months after Amaya’s $4.9b acquisition of the Rational Group, the parent company of PokerStars.
David Baazov’s Insider Trading Trial Nears Resolution
The investigation resulted in Baazov and some of his alleged accomplices being charged with trading frauds. According to the AMF, Baazov used privileged information about Amaya to influence Amaya securities’ market price in the period from December 2013 to June 2014. Thus far, none of the allegations have been proven. The Stars Group is yet to respond to the requests for comment related to the latest news.
In January this year, it became clear that Baazov’s insider trading trial will go ahead despite his efforts to stay the charges against him. As it can be recalled, Baazov’s attorneys claimed due to delays in bringing his case to trial. Baazov’s lawyers used the Jordan ruling, which requires all cases to be resolved within 18 months after being filed. Baazov’s lawyers explained that they were left with almost no time to check a large batch of over 16 million documents related to the case and prepare their client’s defense. However, Provincial court Judge Salvatore Mascia rejected Baazov’s plea.
In August last year, Amaya finalized its ambitious plan to open a new chapter in its development. The company changed its name into The Stars Group and relocated its headquarters from Montreal to Toronto. However, it seems that the spirit of the past is still hunting the company. It is yet to be seen how the whole saga related to Baazov’s insider trading case will end up and what reflection it will have on The Stars Group’s reputation.