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

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

Sarah De Klein and her family have created a team – one of many – for the Move4Communitas fitness challenge and fundraiser. (Submitted photo)
Communitas in Abbotsford holds virtual fitness challenge

Move4Communitas started March 1 and runs for 8 weeks

The Kimber family of Boston Bar lost their home in a fire. Blaine Kimber’s daughter created a fundraiser to help rebuild the home with the goal of $100,000. (Screenshot/GoFundMe)
Fundraiser created for Boston Bar family that lost everything in weekend fire

Witnesses say the Kimber family escaped the fire without injury, but their home is a total loss

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of March 7

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

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

(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

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

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

The family of injured Willoughby resident Ronald Gerald Jesso is hoping someone saw something that will help solve the mystery of how he came to be so badly hurt on the morning of Feb. 22. Jesso is still in hospital. (Jesso family/Special to Langley Advance Times)
An appeal to help solve the mystery of an injured Langley man

Family of Ronald Gerald Jesso asks witnesses to come forward

Most Read