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Update: Ubisoft Executives Accused of Insider Trading Receive Sanctions From French AMF

Update 12/12/16:

The monetary amount of the sanctions Ubisoft executives were subject to has been revealed to be a total of €1.27 million. Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat received a fine of €700,000. Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Francis Baillet and Worldwide Studios Executive Director Christine Burgess were fined €200,000.

Ubisoft Montreal Vice President of Executive Operations Olivier Paris received a €100,000 fine. Brand Development Director Damien Moret was fined €15,000. Mallat, Baillet, Burgess, and Paris have announced their intentions to appeal the AMF's decisions. Moret hasn't commented.

Original:

We reported last month about accusations of insider trading against Ubisoft Executives brought by the French AMF. The French AMF charges that the executives used knowledge of the impending delay of The Crew and Watch_Dogs to 2014 to sell and profit from Ubisoft stock before the official delay announcement on October 15, 2013.

Although the five accused executives assured that there was no ill will involved with the stocks they sold during that period, the French AMF has decided to levels sanctions against them. Ubisoft officially continues to stand by their employees and takes the position that those involved sold their shares in good faith and did not intentionally commit any acts contrary to market regulations.

Ubisoft's defense of the five is: given the complexity of processes and timetables in video game production, these employees could not have predicted that these two games would be delayed. Furthermore, the decision to delay a game rests with Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot exclusively, so these Executives were not involved when the choice to postpone the games was made.

Four of the five Ubisoft employees accused of insider trading, Christine Burgess, Yannis Mallat, Olivier Paris and Francis Baillet, plan to appeal the decisions of the Sanctions Committee of AMF France. They released the following statement about their feelings and intent:

"We remain convinced that the whole process is unjustified, unfounded and illegal. Moreover, the Commission notes that the hearings conducted in Quebec are null and void. We will, therefore, continue to defend our good faith and our rights before the Court of Appeal in France, and also via the lawsuit in Quebec brought against the AMF France and the AMF Quebec."

For now, the five accused of insider trading still are employed at Ubisoft. Appeals processes can take months to years of time, so who knows when this scandal will finally be settled.

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