Vancouver Sun Reporter, Bodog Founder: Both Subject of “Stalkers”

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Apr/15/2011

It seems after a series of scathing attacks against one another, long-time Vancouver Sun reporter, David Baines, and Internet gambling mogul, Calvin Ayre, have something very much in common.  They both have been stalked relentlessly by another individual.

In the case of Ayre, his stalker would routinely emerge on posting forums, accusing the billionaire founder of Bodog of being a “crook”, “con artist” and – dare we say it – “gay”.  Readers of said posting forums were often served up a daily dose of venom detailing how Ayre – known publicly for being a straight Playboy – really liked having sex and the positions he assumed.  Of course, in the end, nobody really cared one way or another nor were these assertions ever deemed anything beyond “fantasy” in the mind of the individual stalking Ayre. 

The individual in question passed away late last year from cancer.

Ayre may think he has another “stalker” in Baines, who has ripped his character to shreds in a more legitimate form of media.  The Bodog Founder has his own website where he answers allegations made by Baines. 

But the reporter himself seems to have his own “Stalker” or – let’s just say – someone who hates him deeply.  And that individual is still around, notifying Gambling911.com of Baines supposed - and, yes, disproven for the most part - improprieties.  Whether he's a Socialist or Communist or whatever else is being thrown at him, should be consindered a mere subjective analysis. 

Baines has been successful in pursuing a “slander” suit against the individual in question.

It appears a newsletter publisher, George Chelekis, wrote a series of scathing articles and allegations about the Vancouver Sun reporter back in the 1990’s. One such article seemed to imply that Baines and a cohort, Adrian du Plessis, somehow manipulated stocks.   

 

A judge ruled:

I construe the second article as saying that Baines and du

Plessis have conspired with others, or have acted at the behest

of others, to aid short sellers in the stock market.  Those

statements I find on the evidence to be a deliberate lie on the

part of Chelekis.  I construe this second article as saying that

Baines and du Plessis conspired with unnamed others to drive down

share prices; that they did so to benefit themselves or to assist

short sellers and they have been illegally paid off for so doing.

If they did, that would be a criminal offence under what is now

s. 380(2) of the Criminal Code:

 

(2)  Every one who, by deceit, falsehood or

     other fraudulent means, whether or not it

     is a false pretence within the meaning of

     this Act, with intent to defraud, affects

     the public market price of stocks, shares,

     merchandise or anything that is offered for

     sale to the public is guilty of an

     indictable offence and liable to

     imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten

     years.

 

It didn’t stop there.  A copyrighted article, entitled "The Vancouver Stock Exchange: A Short Seller's Paradise," in the October issue of Bull & Bear magazine, implicates David Baines, a Vancouver Sun business reporter, and Adrian du Plessis, a private investigator, in a six-year short-selling scheme.

 

According to George Chelekis, author of the article, "Together, they prompted damaging international media coverage of the VSE ... restricting retail investor participation in VSE-listed stocks."

The judge hearing Baines slander case determined these allegations to be false.
 

During his investigation, Chelekis uncovered that

Baines used a "death threat hoax" in a failed attempt

to advance his career, that du Plessis may be

illegally concealing his short-selling profits in a

Panamanian bank account, and that du Plessis had

previously been fired twice for front-running stocks

as a floor trader.

"These two built careers as whistleblowers against a

scandal-ridden VSE when, in fact, they were the ones

engineering the scandals," said Chelekis.

"While the VSE became the most heavily regulated

North American stock exchange, these two were never

disciplined for their personal abuses and

profiteering."
 

The Honorable Justice J.F. Rowan noted: 
 

I interpret the October 4, 1994 press release to say in

effect that Baines received illicit payments from short sellers

to write critically about certain stocks trading on the VSE.

Further that Baines was himself responsible for death threats he

received.  Those statements are implications of fact are false

and false to the knowledge of Chelekis.

Alas, just as Ayre’s supposed sexual exploits and desires became the fodder for posting forums, Baines alleged “sexual relations” were made the subject of Chelekis’ press releases. 

A faxed letter was sent out on October 28, 1994, and ultimately became the precursor to the slander to be made in May of 1995:

 

Dear Mr. Baines:

During the course of my investigation, the following

report has come to my attention from a (U.S.) Central

Intelligence Agency source:

 

1.   That you have been involved in an on

     again/off again homosexual relationship

     with Adrian du Plessis;

 

2.   That Mr. du Plessis and yourself cruise the

     gay bars in Vancouver;

 

3.   That your wife is unaware that you may be

     HIV positive.

 

Would you please respond to the above report?

 

Sincerely,

"George Chelekis"
 

Baines “stalker” is apparently still around and still publishing material (or, at the very least, linking to negative content related to Baines).

Gambling911.com uncovered these less-than-desirable links appearing on StockHouse.com.

They seem to reiterate allegations already deemed “slander” against Mr. Baines. 

As a result of the originally published articles, Baines was awarded a significant amount of money as per the Court’s ruling:
 

DAMAGES

[43] The article published in the August 1994 edition of the Bull

& Bear was libelous.  Chelekis knew that the allegations of fact

were untrue and Robinson was indifferent to their truth.

 

[44] I assess general damages against Chelekis and Robinson for

the article which appeared in the August edition of the Bull &

Bear at $75,000.

 

[45] The second of the articles sued upon, the article contained

in the October edition of the Bull & Bear (Appendix "B") ranks as

the most damaging of the libels.  It would appear to have

attained the most widespread distribution and was published on

separate occasions.

 

[46] The print edition was published by Robinson himself as the

Bull & Bear Financial Newspaper Inc. was no longer in existence.

In any event, the evidence at trial showed that Robinson would be

liable for damages regardless.

 

[47] The August 1994 circulation of the Bull & Bear was 26,500

copies, most, but not all of which would be in the U.S.  Of the

26,500 published in August of 1994, 940 were distributed in

Canada, and 217 were distributed in British Columbia.  The

October edition circulation would be similar.  The October

article is the most egregious and damaging of Chelekis' libels.

For the libel published in his October edition of the Bull &

Bear, the second article, there will be awarded against Chelekis

and Robinson, damages in the sum of $200,000.

 

[48] The libel contained in the October 1994 edition of the Bull

and Bear was repeated by the Defendant Shore and Market News

Publishing Inc.  This was a separate publication of the libel.

It was this publication that lead to worldwide distribution of

the libel.  A result intended by Chelekis and Shore.  That was

achieved by supplying the libel to Bloomberg's service.  I view

this publication of the article by Shore and his company, Market

News as the most damaging of the libels which are the subject

matter of this action.  Chelekis, Shore and Shore's company,

Market News Publishing Inc., shall be liable for the sum of

$250,000 damages for the libels contained in the second article

and published by them.

 

[49] The October 4, 1994 press release was also published by

Market News Publishing Inc. but no claim was made against Shore

and Market News Publishing Inc. for publication of the October

4th press release.  That press release was distributed on a U.S.

wire service called "Business Wire".  From Business Wire it was

picked up and disseminated by the Canadian affiliate of Business

Wire "Canadian Corporate News".  As Shore and Market News were

not sued for their publication of this article, the sole

Defendant against whom a claim is made is the Defendant Chelekis.

I find the October 5th, press release is libelous and award the

sum of $100,000 damages against Chelekis for its publication.

 

[50] With respect to the slander of May 5, 1995, that slander is

one for which special damages need not be proved but are assumed.

It was untrue.  The statement was made by Chelekis to a group of

businessmen and to other journalists.  Many might realize the

statement was a lie but it was an outrageous lie, uttered with

malice and meant to destroy Baines.  However, that lie did not

receive the worldwide coverage that the libels received.  I fix

damages for the slander of May 5, 1995, at $50,000.

 

Ayre’s staff writers at his self-named blog have suggested that Baines may be looking for a reason to file a slander suit against Bodog and its affiliations, namely Ayre himself.  The Vancouver Sun reporter blasted CalvinAyre.com recently for asserting Baines to be “bias” and having a supposedly “conflict of interest” when it came to his reporting on the local province run lottery. 

Our subjective analysis of both Baines and Ayre, for the record, is that Baines happens to be a good respected reporter and Ayre is a good respected businessman.  The two men would likely argue otherwise, as would their respective stalkers, one of whom can no longer speak. 

- Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

Follow Gambling911.com on Twitter Here

 

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