Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Lawyer Urges AMF Tribunal to Soften Views of Baazov in Insider Trading Case

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Lawyer Urges AMF Tribunal to Soften Views of Baazov in Insider Trading Case

Article excerpt

Amaya securities tribunal hearing concludes


MONTREAL - The lawyer for the former CEO of online gambling giant Amaya urged a securities tribunal on Thursday to soften its characterization of David Baazov's alleged leading role in the insider information case launched by Quebec's securities regulator.

Sophie Melchers didn't ask the independent body to make any specific changes to its March 2016 order against 12 associates, excluding Baazov, who have been accused of allegedly reaping nearly $1.5 million in profits from trading shares after receiving privileged information.

However, Melchers urged the panel to consider all the information that emerged during the four-day hearing that paint a more complete picture of the case than what she said was presented by L'Autorite des marches financiers.

"It is not necessary, it is not required and to me it is not desirable that the tribunal at this stage -- with all that remains to be done -- conclude based on incomplete evidence that my client contravened the law," she said.

In its original order freezing bank and trading accounts of a dozen associates, friends and family, the tribunal said Baazov was the main source of the insider information.

But that was before new details emerged during the hearing in which Melchers was able to cross-examine its lead investigator.

In her closing comments, Melchers said the AMF didn't meet its obligation for "full and frank disclosure" of evidence by failing to present the tribunal with details that don't dovetail with its allegations that Baazov headed a pyramid scheme that returned kickbacks from trades about impending Amaya acquisitions.

She accused the AMF of giving the tribunal an incomplete picture by only focusing on contact among the named dozen individuals in the days preceding trades. As brothers and business associates, David and Josh Baazov spoke frequently on many matters, as did others. …

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