British Columbia Attorney General David Eby listens during a news conference in Vancouver on Friday May 24, 2019. A former top anti-money laundering official at the British Columbia Lottery Corp. says Eby appeared “disinterested” in the Crown corporation’s efforts to monitor and report on possible illegal activities at casinos. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

British Columbia Attorney General David Eby listens during a news conference in Vancouver on Friday May 24, 2019. A former top anti-money laundering official at the British Columbia Lottery Corp. says Eby appeared “disinterested” in the Crown corporation’s efforts to monitor and report on possible illegal activities at casinos. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Ex-lottery VP says Eby ‘disinterested’ in corporation’s anti-money laundering efforts

B.C. government appointed B.C. Supreme Court Justice Austin Cullen in May 2019 to lead the public inquiry

Attorney General David Eby appeared “disinterested” during an anti-money laundering briefing by top British Columbia Lottery Corp. officials and disparaged the author of a crime analysis report, a former corporation executive told a public inquiry Monday.

Robert Kroeker, ex-vice president of corporate compliance, testified Eby appeared largely disinterested in the Crown corporation’s presentation of its anti-money laundering programs and observations during a meeting in October 2017, shortly after the New Democrats formed a government.

Eby had been critical of the lottery corporation’s handling of money laundering at casinos before the party came to power in 2017, and he made cracking down on dirty money one of his signature issues as attorney general.

Kroeker said during the meeting he provided Eby with the results of a link analysis document that examined possible connections between known players at provincial casinos and organized criminals, but the minister was not impressed with the work of the corporation’s intelligence unit.

“He seemed largely disinterested in it and at the conclusion of my explanation he looked down and he noted the author was Brad Rudnicki, who was our analyst, and he said to me, ‘What would a guy with a name like Rudnicki know about Chinese money laundering?’ ” said Kroeker.

When asked about Kroeker’s testimony, the attorney general’s office said it would be inappropriate for Eby to comment on matters before the commission while it’s underway.

Kroeker said he could not recall exact details of the document discussed at the meeting with Eby but its overall themes examined possible suspicious cash activities inside casinos and connections to organized crime.

“This was prepared by our intelligence analyst and it shows linkages between our players and others, including people who we knew to be associated to criminal activity or crime groups, and transactions that looked questionable, real estate transactions,” said Kroeker.

Bud Smith, the lottery corporation’s former board chair, also briefed Eby at the October 2017 meeting, Kroeker said.

“Mr. Smith ran him through essentially all of the controls we had,” said Kroeker. “How they function and what they were doing.”

But he said Smith told him the lottery corporation was not an enforcement agency.

The inquiry heard Monday that many of the people playing with large amounts of money in casinos were business people from China who had homes in Vancouver, but no evidence suggested the money was linked to crime.

Eby’s government appointed B.C. Supreme Court Justice Austin Cullen in May 2019 to lead the public inquiry into money laundering after three reports outlined how hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal cash affected the province’s real estate, luxury vehicle and gaming sectors.

Kroeker, a former police officer who was terminated as vice-president of corporate compliance at the lottery corporation in July 2019, testified that he played an integral part in setting up B.C.’s civil forfeiture office.

Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

money laundering

Just Posted

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer COVID cases continue to fall

114 cases in Red Deer, down one from Saturday

Maskwacis Pride crosswalk (Left to right): Montana First Nation Councillor Reggie Rabbit, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Louise Omeasoo, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Katherine Swampy, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Shannon Buffalo, Samson Cree Nation Chief Vern Saddleback.
Pride in Maskwacis

The 4th inaugural Maskwacis Pride crosswalk painting took place on Saturday 12, 2020.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta launches COVID vaccine lottery with million-dollar prizes to encourage uptake

The premier says the lottery will offer three prizes worth $1 million a piece, as well as other prizes

Some examples of ‘kindness’ rocks that were painted by members of the Boys and Girls Club in Rimbey. photo submitted
The ‘kindness rock snake’ continues to take shape in Rimbey

Residents are asked to contribute a ‘kindness rock’ to a project near the Blindman Youth Action Building

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Most Read