Civil forfeiture case alleges Richmond gym laundered millions in illegal gambling money

Province seeks to seize gym

A Richmond property, housing a large gym run by an alleged money-launderer, is the subject of a civil forfeiture case launched by the provincial government.

A notice of civil claim filed by B.C.'s Director of Civil Forfeiture names Paul King Jin as the manager of World Champion Club, a mixed martial arts and fitness centre that operates out of the 31,000-square foot warehouse at the 12851 No. 5 Road property.

The property was assessed last year at $7,708,000, according to BC Assessment.

The claim alleges the property is the “proceeds of unlawful activities,” as funds used to purchase or maintain it were acquired through unlawful activities, including money laundering and illegal gaming houses. 

“If the No. 5 Road property is not forfeited and/or proceeds from the sale of the No. 5 Road property are released to the defendants, they will likely be used for the unlawful activity,” the claim reads.

The gym is operated by a company called Warrior Fighting Dream Ltd., named as one of the defendants in the claim, which has owned the No. 5 Road property since June 2016.

Jin’s wife, Xiaoqi Wei, is the corporate secretary of Warrior Fighting Dream, while Jin’s son, Jesse Xin Jia, is one of the company’s directors, according to the claim.

Warrior Fighting Dream financed the purchase of the property in part with various mortgages, according to the court documents. Currently, 1219598 BC Ltd., which is also named as a defendant in the suit and which has a registered office address at 7788 Ackroyd Road, holds a mortgage against the property.

That mortgage was registered Aug. 15, 2019 – one day after the numbered company was incorporated.

“The numbered company mortgage is the only mortgage currently registered by the numbered company in the land title office,” reads the court documents.

“The numbered company mortgage is not a legitimate mortgage and was used by the defendants to launder the proceeds of a crime.”

And while Jin is named as the “true” owner of Warrior Fighting Dream, the director of civil forfeiture alleges that “Warrior Fighting Dream acted as a nominee owner or ‘owner of convenience’ on behalf of Mr. Jin with respect to the No. 5 Road property.”

The documents allege that Jin has been involved in money laundering – claims that have been made against him in another civil forfeiture case.

“Mr. Jin has been engaged in large-scale money laundering activities involving licensed casinos, illegal gaming houses and an unlicensed financial institution since in or about 2012,” reads the claim.

Between June 27, 2012 and June 24, 2015, Jin and his associates were involved in 140 casino transactions totaling $23,501,456.

Meanwhile, Jin and Wei’s combined income reported to the Canada Revenue Agency ranged from $22,371 to $81,000 between 2011 and 2014.

The RCMP launched an investigation into Jin’s alleged money laundering activities in early 2015, and found that after he was banned from all B.C. gaming establishments, Jin and Wei set up two illegal gaming houses located at 13511 No. 4 Road and 102 – 5131 Brighouse Way.

“Based on information obtained through the investigation, the RCMP determined that the net profit generated from the illegal gaming houses from June 11, 2015 to Oct. 8, 2015 was over $32 million,” the court documents state.

Jin and Wei have yet to file a response to the claim. The claims have not been proven in court.

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