According to a report in the Globe and Mail, sources have stated that Amaya Gaming’s CEO, David Baazov and CFO, Daniel Sebag have come under scrutiny in an investigation by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) as part of a wider investigation into stock trades that occurred before Amaya’s $4.9 billion acquisition of the privately held Oldford Group Limited last summer. The Oldford Group was the parent company of the Rational Group – PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.
We first reported on one aspect of the investigation on March 10 noting that a close personal friend of Baazov, Yoel Altman, was being investigated by the US-based self-regulatory body called the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). This investigation seems to be related to a document seizure by the AMF that occurred in December. Various reports place the number of people being investigated between 20 and 300, the former number would include executives and the latter would include individual investors.
The Globe and Mail claimed on Wednesday that according to a source familiar with the investigation – documents, records, and communications belonging to Baazov and Sebag were also seized in December. The news came to light after a Quebec court lifted the ban on publication of the search warrant and related supporting affidavit. The published documents were provided with names redacted and there is currently no way to independantly confirm the information.
In the supporting affidavit for the search warrant the AMF said, “The investigation reveals that certain individuals in possession of privileged information transmitted that information to several people. These people then took advantage of that information and traded on Amaya shares,”
Search warrants were executed on Amaya Gaming Group, Canaccord Genuity Corp. (Amaya financial advisors) and Manulife Securities Inc. in Dorval.
According to the Globe And Mail, retired RCMP superintendent Ben Soave, now an Amaya board member and member of its compliance committee said they have, “thoroughly reviewed the relevant internal activities” and “found no evidence of any violation of Canadian securities laws or regulations including tipping and insider trading by CEO David Baazov and CFO Daniel Sebag as well as its directors, officers and employees. Additionally, the company has not been provided with any evidence that any executives, directors or employees violated any securities laws or regulations.”