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

Ex-lottery VP accuses Eby

A former top official at the British Columbia Lottery Corp. says Attorney General David Eby appeared "disinterested" in its efforts to monitor and report on money laundering at casinos shortly after the NDP took power.

Robert Kroeker told a public inquiry into money laundering today that Eby appeared largely disinterested in the lottery corporation's presentation of its anti-money laundering programs during a meeting in 2017.

Kroeker testified Eby also disparaged a report by Brad Rudnicki, an anti-money laundering specialist at the lottery corporation, which showed links between some casino players and crime groups, as well as questionable transactions.

Kroeker testified that Eby asked: "What would a guy with a name like Rudnicki know about Chinese money laundering?"

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

Eby had been critical of the lottery corporation's handling of money laundering at casinos before the NDP formed government in 2017, and he made cracking down on dirty money one of his signature issues as attorney general.

The inquiry heard today 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.

More BC News