Quebec Court Lifts Gag Order on Latest Arrest Warrant Issued to AMF for Amaya Probe

Written By Janice Doughtrey

A Quebec court-has lifted its suppression order on the latest arrest warrant issued to Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF). The warrant is in connection with the ongoing insider trading investigation involving Amaya Inc.’s shares of stocks, allegedly perpetuated by employees of Amaya’s financial adviser Canaccord Genuity Corporation and of the Dorval branch of Montreal Manulife Securities.

Last week, the Globe and Mail published information based on arrest warrants issued in connection with the AMF probe, naming Canaccord’s Wealth Management CEO Stuart Reftus and Canaccord’s top performing broker Peter Kirby as among the subjects of the arrest order. In addition, AMF had listed 40 Canaccord clients, which the Globe and Mail reports as mostly clients of Peter Kirby.

Accordingly, Manulife’s Elie Nassif and Canaccord Montreal’s Compliance Officer, Marvin Zwikler were listed by AMF in the arrest warrant as witnesses to the tipping and insider trading investigation. Two of Globe and Mail’s sources, and familiar to the ongoing investigation said that both Nassif and Zwikler have provided the regulatory body with computing systems, as well as records of their respective company’s emails and phone calls.

It is widely believed that the AMF initiated investigations into the stock trading violations, after two Manulife employees got in touch with the regulator to blow the whistle on their fellow Manulife employees. The Globe and Mail quoted unnamed sources in its report that AMF investigators have been following and observing some Manulife Dorval brokers and their assistants. The AMF surveillance was accordingly carried out with the cooperation of Manulife Company. The latter has in fact, furnished regulator with a report detailing Manulife brokers’ sales and purchases of Amaya stocks. .

Amaya’s Position in the AMF Stock Trade Investigation  

Through Amaya’s Compliance Officer Mr. Ben Soave, the company had previously disclosed in an April 08, 2015 statement that certain documentations pertaining to the said investigation had been sealed through a court order. The gag order prevented Amaya from discussing the contents of the documentations or commenting about the individuals named in the AMF investigations. Amaya chose to abide by the court’s orders rather than challenge, or take risks that would hold them in contempt of court’s orders.

Mr. Soave conveyed in the said statement, the company’s confidence that once the AMF probe winds up, the regulatory body will come to the same conclusion as that of Amaya’s. Any violations of Canadian securities laws that the AMF will unravel in its investigations are not of Amaya’s doings, nor that of its employees, officers and directors.

Mr. Soave, who is a former Chief of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and now a member of Amaya’s Compliance Committee and Advisor to the Board of Directors, had stated that the documents available to them had been redacted, and presented nothing new. Mr. Soave, who now renders his expertise as private investigator, consultant, and advisor to businesses, said that they have conducted their own thorough examination of the pertinent activities related to Amaya’s acquisition of the Oldford Group.

Their analysis and review did not lead to any evidence that Amaya’s CEO David Baazov and Chief Finance Officer Daniel Sebag committed violations of any Canadian laws and regulations governing securities transactions, including those that prohibit insider trading and tipping. He made mention that the company has in fact, not been presented with proof that any of Amaya’s executive officers, directors or employees were in violation of such laws and regulations.