Several days ago information emerged that Amaya CEO David Baazov and at least 15 other individuals were facing insider trading charges by Quebecois authorities. The latest news, however, reveal that the securities regulator managed to link Baazov’s brother to illegal trades in seven companies; according to reports, these activities resulted in $1.5 million in illicit profits.
The Montreal paper Le Journal de Montreal informs that the older brother of Baazov was illegally funnelling insider company information to his brother’s bookmaking partner. If the article is to be believed, seems like the CEO was passing privileged details regarding the company’s business transactions to Josh Baazov, who is widely known under the nicknames Ofer and Fredo. These details were then passed with Josh’s help to Craig Levett.
The findings so far reveal that the criminal activity has been going on for five years and includes a total of seven well-known companies in the gaming world: Amaya, Chartwell Technology, Cryptologic, Bwin, WMS Industries, Oldford Group and Intertain Group. The Quebec securities regulator Autorite des Marches financiers (AMF) found out telephone calls dating back to late 2010. The proofs show that David and Josh’s calls were often followed by calls from Josh to Levett. Afterwards, the latter would make multiple equity purchases in the companies of interest.
For example, when WMS Industries was taken over by Scientific Games Corp for $1.42 billion in 2013, Baazov’s brother reportedly heard him discuss the acquisition with an attorney. He then gave this information to Levett who bought hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of company’s shares. Levett’s wife, brother and three other associates also purchased WMS shares and made more than $170,000 in profits. When the deal was done, Levett “gifted” Josh Baazov with two checks whose total worth was $32,100.
Even though the CEO denied all allegations against him and Amaya announced that he would be “fully exonerated,” company’s stock noted a drop of more than 20% on the Toronto Stock Exchange.