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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

File photo
Gov’t of Alberta identifies estimated 300 new COVID-19 cases Sunday

Online COVID-19 dashboard unavailable as upgrades being completed

COVID
Red Deer down to 313 active cases of COVID-19

Alberta reports an additional 411 COVID-19 cases

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Panetta
Economists “cautiously hopeful” for economic recovery in Alberta

Charles St. Arnaud says Alberta’s recovery will rebound along with roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw acknowledged that Friday would be one year since the first case of COVID-19 was identified in the province. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Three more Red Deer COVID-19 deaths, 331 active cases in Alberta

Red Deer is down to 362 active cases of the virus

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Kiara Robillard is seen in an undated handout photo. When the pandemic began, Robillard had to rush back home to Alberta from California, where she had been living for five years, after she was struck by a truck that broke her spine in two places. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Kiara Robillard, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘It kind of clicks:’ Text4Hope program helps with depression, anxiety during pandemic

Participants receive one text message every morning for three months

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

A decommissioned pumpjack is shown at a well head on an oil and gas installation near Cremona, Alta., Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. The Alberta Energy Regulator says it is suspending all of the licences held by an oil and gas producer with more than 2,200 wells and 2,100 pipelines after it failed to bring its operations into compliance. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta Energy Regulator suspends licences of oil and gas producer that owes $67M

The company is being asked to comply with past orders to clean up historic spills and contamination

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Seniors in the 65-unit Piper Creek Lodge are among those waiting for COVID-19 vaccinations. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Central Alberta senior lodges anxiously waiting for COVID-19 vaccinations

“Should be at the front of the line, not the back of the line”

Most Read