Details Emerge on Canada’s Amaya Gaming Investigation

Canada’s AMF seized computers and records during its investigation of Amaya gaming, according to recently released court details. The regulators launched the investigation into trading of Amaya Inc. stock ahead of its takeover last summer of PokerStars.

According to details released by a Quebec court, Canada’s Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) seized a variety of computers, e-mail, and phone records from three Amaya officials, including its chief executive officer David Baazov, chief financial officer Daniel Sebag and an unnamed manager during its investigation of the company.

The investigation was launched after widespread trading of Amaya Inc. stock ahead of its takeover last summer of PokerStars in what has become Canada’s largest insider trading investigation.

The court lifted a publication ban on details of a search warrant drafted by Quebec’s securities regulator. The warrant also reveals records were also obtained from a senior executive, broker and a broker’s assistant at Amaya’s deal adviser Canaccord Genuity Corp.

Materials were also seized from 15 brokers in the Montreal branch of Manulife Securities, which was not involved in the takeover, according to the Globe and Mail newspaper. .

The warrant also lists trading in Amaya stock by more than 40 unnamed Canaccord clients, which one person familiar with the investigation said were mostly Mr. Kirby’s clients, the paper said.

Amaya and Canaccord officials have said they have found no evidence of wrongdoing by their employees and executives. Manulife Securities has provided the regulator with a report on its brokers’ purchases and sales of Amaya stock and a spokesman told the Globe and Mail it continues to co-operate with regulators.

The AMF investigation was reportedly initiated after an unnamed whistle-blower came forward and the regulator alleged in the warrant that there were reasonable grounds to believe that unnamed individuals improperly disclosed privileged information about the PokerStars deal or traded on the confidential information.