Former Bay Street money manager Ben Cheng has agreed to pay $400,000 in fines and will be barred from working as a senior executive in Ontario as part of a settlement approved Friday by the Ontario Securities Commission.
Cheng, the former president of Aston Hill Financial, admitted to leaking information about Amaya Gaming Group Inc.’s $4.9 billion takeover deal of PokerStars. Cheng also admitted to misleading the OSC in its investigation of the allegations.
Cheng did not personally profit from the violation and has already suffered severe consequences, the OSC noted.
“As a result of this investigation, the Respondent lost his positions with (Aston Hill), now called LOGIQ. He has not worked in the Canadian securities industry since September 2016. He has agreed to a significant ban from the industry. The publicity that is expected to follow from this settlement will likely make it very difficult for him to find work in Canada,” the OSC said in the agreement.
The fine includes a $350,000 administrative penalty and $50,000 in costs.
Cheng admitted to telling John David Rothstein – Aston Hill’s former national sales manager – about the deal days before it was announced in June 2014. He encouraged Rothstein to share the information with other Aston Hill customers.
Rothstein settled the allegations last year and admitted to trading on insider information given to him by Cheng. Rothstein agreed to pay an $11,000 administrative penalty and was banned from working as a senior executive in the financial sector for two years.
OSC charges stemming from the Amaya investigation are outstanding against Eric Tremblay, Aston Hill’s former CEO, and Frank Soave, a former broker with CIBC Wood Gundy. A hearing is scheduled for September.
Cheng, who in the past had been a frequent guest on BNN Bloomberg, has agreed to continue cooperating with the OSC on the case.