Amaya CEO David Baazov attends the company’s annual general meeting in Montreal, Monday, June 22, 2015. A Quebec judge has ordered a stay of proceedings at the insider trading trial of former Amaya CEO Baazov and his co-accused.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Quebec judge tosses insider trading trial against former Amaya CEO

MONTREAL — A Quebec court judge ended an insider trading case on Wednesday against the former CEO of online gaming company Amaya and his co-accused.

Salvatore Mascia granted the defence’s third motion to stay proceedings against David Baazov after rejecting two prior efforts.

The decision was made in response to the defence’s claim it was inadvertently given about 320,000 privileged documents it shouldn’t have seen.

The prosecution wanted them back.

The documents were among tens of millions of pieces of information as part of the process involving one of the largest insider fraud cases in Canadian history.

Quebec’s securities regulator, l’Autorite des marches financiers, charged Baazov and his associates with insider-related counts in 2016.

“We are obviously very disappointed with the judge’s decision,” the regulator said in a statement Wednesday.

“We are going to analyze the judgment very closely as well as assessing the pertinence of filing an appeal.”

The charges stemmed from an investigation into the US$4.9-billion deal to acquire PokerStars in 2014 that transformed the former Montreal firm into the world’s largest public online poker company.

Baazov had pleaded not guilty to five counts, including influencing or attempting to influence the market price of Amaya’s securities.

Two other people, Yoel Altman and Benjamin Ahdoot, and three companies faced 18 additional charges stemming from the regulator’s investigation and had also pleaded not guilty.

The trial had been going on for six weeks and had been expected to continue through the fall.

Mascia rejected a defence motion in January to have the charges tossed because of the delay in getting them to trial under a Supreme Court of Canada ruling known as Jordan.

He then rejected a defence request over claims that the prosecution wasn’t disclosing evidence in a timely fashion.

Amaya is now known as The Stars Group Inc. and has moved its operations to Toronto.

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day

A celebration ceremony was held at City Hall Park Thursday afternoon

Sylvan Lake presents waterfront concept

Sustainable Waterfront Area Redevelopment Plan will provide 20-year vision

Red Deer-raised artist wins the chance to exhibit at San Diego Comic Con

Micaela Dawn said courage can’t exist without fear

BioBlitz set for Lacombe Lake

Well-known Alberta naturalist to take stock of Lacombe Lake’s flora, fauna and fungi

Red Deer elementary school students play Indigenous games

Annie L. Gaetz Schools holds first-ever First Nations, Métis and Inuit Field Day Thursday

Deadline for property tax payments coming for Red Deer residents

For property owners in Red Deer, the taxman cometh. The deadline for… Continue reading

Town of Ponoka, AUPE set to resume negotiations in July

Town council rejected agreement reached between administration and union

New evidence that viruses may play a role in Alzheimer’s

WASHINGTON — Viruses that sneak into the brain just might play a… Continue reading

Amber Tamblyn novel flips gender stereotypes as it examines rape culture

TORONTO — Actress and author Amber Tamblyn started writing “Any Man,” her… Continue reading

Mike Colter brings the pain as the indestructible Luke Cage

ATLANTA — “Black Panther” broke box office records, but “Luke Cage” once… Continue reading

Toronto police strike blow to gang with ties to the U.S. and Caribbean: chief

Toronto police say they’ve taken down a large portion of a street… Continue reading

Canada focusing on existing climate plan, has no timeline to increase ambition

OTTAWA — Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says Canada has no immediate plans… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month