A former corporation executive told a public inquiry Monday that VANCOUVER – 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.
Robert Kroeker, former vice president of corporate compliance, testified that during a meeting in October 2017, shortly after the New Democrats formed a government, Eby seemed largely disinterested in the Crown corporation’s presentation of its anti-money laundering programs and observations.
Before the party came to power in 2017, Eby was critical of the lottery company’s handling of money laundering at casinos, and he made cracking down on dirty money one of his signature problems as attorney general.
During the meeting, Kroeker said he provided Eby with the findings of a link analysis document examining potential connections between known players at provincial casinos and organized criminals, but the minister was not impressed by the intelligence unit’s work.
Kroeker said that “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?’ ”
The attorney general’s office, when asked about Kroeker’s testimony, said it would be inappropriate for Eby to comment on matters before the commission while it is underway.
Kroeker said he was unable to remember the exact details of the document addressed at the Eby conference, but his general themes examined possible suspicious cash activities inside casinos and organized crime connections.
Kroeker said that “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.”
He added that “Bud Smith, the lottery corporation’s former board chair, also briefed Eby at the October 2017 meeting. 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 investigation heard on Monday that many of the people playing in casinos with large amounts of money were business people from China who had homes in Vancouver, but no evidence indicated that the money was connected to crime.
Eby’s government appointed B.C. Supreme Court Justice Austin Cullen in May 2019 to lead the public investigation into money laundering after three reports revealed how hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal cash influenced the real estate, luxury vehicles and gaming sectors of the province.