More Suspects in Amaya Gaming Insider Trading Case
A financial analyst in Ontario, Canada and a group of his friends are feeling the heat from fraud investigators over their actions in the days leading up to Amaya Gaming’s purchase of PokerStars back in 2014. The men join former Amaya Gaming CEO David Baazov in the cloud of suspicion that’s resulted from alleged insider trading activities surrounding the blockbuster deal.
According to reports in both The Globe and Mail (subscription required) and CalvinAyre.com, Majd Kitmitto, a senior analyst at Aston Hill Asset Management and group of his close associates, are being investigated by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC). Kitmitto allegedly passed on information he received as part of his job at Aston Hill to both his roommate and a small group of co-workers about the purchase of PokerStars by Amaya Gaming.
One of those co-workers, Steven Vannatta, immediately purchased $31,650 ($24,372 USD) in Amaya Gaming shares. Vannatta then sold those shares for $96,316 ($74,170 USD) after the Amaya/PokerStars deal was announced. While that’s a nifty way to triple your cash, it’s also very illegal in any country that regulates publicly traded companies.
As is so often the case with hot gossip, Vannatta simply couldn’t keep his mouth shut and told several family members about the impending deal. His four kinfolk pocketed a combined $96,316 ($74,170 USD) in profits on the illegal information.
Vannatta compounded his troubles with investigators by leaving information about his Amaya Gaming purchases from copies of his brokerage accounts he provided them.
The men under investigation will receive a hearing later this month. Given that they do not have access to hundreds of millions of dollars, like Baazov does, their journey to justice is expected to be relatively short.
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