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Former Amaya CEO David Baazov attends the company's annual general meeting in Montreal in 2015.Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

The former head of online poker giant Amaya has launched a $2-million lawsuit against Quebec’s securities regulator stemming from its unsuccessful insider trading lawsuit.

David Baazov alleges in a case filed last week in Quebec Superior Court that L’Autorite des marches financiers (AMF) was “abusive” and “malicious” in filing accusations against him in 2016.

The trial of the businessman and his co-defendants came to a sudden halt last June when Quebec Judge Salvatore Masci stayed the proceedings.

Baazov had pleaded not guilty to five counts, including influencing or attempting to influence the market price of Amaya’s securities, since renamed the Stars Group Inc.

The charges stemmed from an investigation into the US$4.9-billion deal to acquire PokerStars in 2014 that transformed the firm into the world’s largest public online poker company.

AMF spokesman Sylvain Theberge says Baazov’s lawsuit is “unfounded,” adding that the regulator plans to “vigorously” defend itself.

In the 25-page statement of claim, Baazov says he will donate the $2 million to five Montreal charities if he succeeds in the case.

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