Former Amaya Gaming CEO David Baazov, along with several other former company executives, has been accused of embezzling cash from the Lion’s Heart Self Help Group, Amaya’s Kenya-based African charity.

The suite, which was filed last week in the US District Court in Manhattan, alleges that Baazov, along with Daniel Sebag and Benjamin Ahdoot, grabbed at least $707,000 from the charity via secret bank accounts.

Lion’s Heart is a charity that first sprang to life with good intentions as early as 2012, when Amaya Gaming entered the red hot Kenyan lottery market. The original idea was that the company would donate 25 percent of its lottery earnings to help out local charities. According to documents filed with the lawsuit, much of that cash was funneled to Baazov and his cronies and deposited in unauthorized bank accounts.

But local on the ground in Kenya, including Amaya Gaming Group (K) director Kennedy Odhiambo Nyagudi,say that Lion’s Heart never received the lion’s share of what it was promised. Even worse, according to allegations in the lawsuit, much of the money earmarked for charity was shifted to Baazov and his cronies. Once the cash was deposited in the secret accounts, it was allegedly spirited out of the country, far from deserving locals.

Baazov, and the other former Amaya Gaming executives vehemently deny the charges and plan to mount a vigorous defense. For Baazov, it will be just one more legal headache for his very busy lawyers to deal with. Baazov is currently awaiting trial in Quebec for allegedly engaging in insider trading with regards to Amaya Gaming’s blockbuster purchase of the Rational Group for nearly $5 billion.


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