More Trial Delays for former Amaya CEO David Baazov

AMF case against Canada iGaming figurehead postponed, again.

Trial Delayed again for Former Canada iGaming KingpinDavid Baazov just can’t seem to get out of the headlines. For years, his name has been plastered in the news; formerly for his supremely expert handling of Canadian online gambling firm, Amaya Inc; more recently for an insider trading scandal that just won’t go away.

Baazov built Amaya (now The Stars Group, under CEO Rafi Ashkenazi) from the ground floor up. It began in 2005 as as a small software company that produced electronic poker tables for casinos and cruise ships. In 2010, Amaya held its IPO on Canada’s penny-stock market, the Toronto Venture Exchange. At under $1 per share, he managed to raise over $5 million. Four years later, he spearheaded the boldest move in the history of business acquisition, purchasing Rational Group, parent of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, for $4.9 billion.

Everyone around him was shocked that he’d pulled it off, congratulating the Amaya CEO and applauding his genius. What they didn’t know – what the Canada’s securities regulators insist to be true – is that Baazov was more shrewd than anyone realized.

The AMF claims that, just days before the acquisition of the world’s largest online poker site, Baazov was leaking insider information. They say he conspired with several people, including childhood friend Benjamin Ahdoot and Amaya consultant Yoel Altman, to purchase enormous amounts of stock in Amaya, just before it skyrocketed.

If Baazov gave associates the heads up to buy stock before the deal went through, that constitutes insider trading. But did he do it?

The former Canada online gambling CEO asserts his innocence, has he’s done since day one when the charges were first brought upon him back in 2016. And if his defense has anything to say about it, that’s the conclusion Judge Salvatore Mascia will come to before this is all over. That is, if it ever ends…

AMF Case Against Canada iGaming Figurehead Postponed, Again!

The trial was supposed to start in January of this year. Baazov’s lawyers requested additional time to prepare their case, and the Quebec court obliged. A new date was set for February, but that one got postponed as well, as the defense pushed once more for additional time.

The next court date was set for April 16, 2018 – two days ago. Can you guess what happened? Another delay.

As they’ve done on previous occasions, Baazov’s lawyers filed a motion earlier this month to have the case dismissed. They asserevate that the AMF is using “false or misleading evidence” to build their case.

In the filing for dismissal, defense noted having received two recordings of interrogations – one of former Amaya CFO Daniel Sebag – just three weeks prior. The defense claims this evidence will prove the AMF’s use of false or misleading evidence, and that it was delivered far too late for them to prepare a defense for it.

“The fairness of the trial is compromised by the cumulative decision of the AMF to proceed, in a late an illegitimate manner,” reads the request.

Will Frustrated Judge Throw Out the Case?

Judge Mascia is clearly frustrated by the situation; especially at the AMF for once again delivering evidence so late to the defense team. He’s agreed to push the trial back, delaying the legal proceedings once more, but no date was set. That’s because he’s deliberating on whether to set a new date, or throw the case out altogether.

“It is the AMF who claimed that there might be important elements for the defendants. You are obliged to disclose. It will never stop,” said an exasperated Judge Mascia to the AMF’s Camille Rochon-Lamy.

When she argued that the trial should begin Monday, as scheduled, the judge sided with the defense once more. “Would it be fair to start the trial not knowing if there is more evidence coming?”

Whether the case will proceed or get dismissed is yet to be seen. The Judge is taking the next few days to consider the matter. Either way, this is a huge win for the Canada iGaming kingpin.

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