Baazov Wields PokerStars Deal in Attempt to Dodge Insider Trading Charges
David Baazov, the embattled former Amaya Gaming CEO, is telling a Canadian judge that there’s no way he could have engaged in insider trading in the massive PokerStars deal because he didn’t think it would even happen. Undercutting one of your greatest business successes is a novel way of avoiding the law, but Baazov and his legal team seem willing to throw just about anything at the courtroom wall to see if it sticks.
This latest revelation from Baazov’s legal saga came as his attorneys attempted to use a pile of newly discovered evidence to bolster their claim that prosecutors are deliberately withholding evidence that proves their client’s innocence.
More specifically, they’re pointing to a tape recorded interview from September of 2015 in which Baazov says he didn’t think the multi-billion dollar PokerStars deal would even happen. His lawyers are using that statement to shore up an argument suggesting that he couldn’t possibly have shared information he thought would profit others if he didn’t think the deal would go through.
Baazov goes on to point out all the ways that the deal was in jeopardy at the time he was allegedly providing insider information to friends and family. Some of those people went so far as to mortgage their homes to come up with the cash to benefit from an Amaya Gaming stock boost. (Baazov’s lawyers didn’t suggest that he could have provided the information to people in the hopes that a run on Amaya stock would help save a flailing deal, but that could have happened, too.)
This revelation was one of many interesting tidbits contained in a collection of nine witness interviews that were recently handed over to Baazov’s legal team as part of their ongoing discovery process. This new information, and Baazov’s attempt to use it have his charges thrown out, will further delay his trial which was set to begin this week.