Former BC Minister Wealthy Coleman Denies Cash Laundering Conspiracy


Posted on: April 30, 2021, 06:21h. 

Final up to date on: April 30, 2021, 06:21h.

Former British Columbia gaming minister Wealthy Coleman says accusations he turned a blind eye to on line casino cash laundering to guard an important authorities income stream are “ridiculous.”

Rich Coleman
Wealthy Coleman going through the press previous to his retirement from politics final 12 months. (Picture: Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press)

Coleman was giving testimony this week on the Cullen Fee, a public investigation into the cash laundering epidemic that noticed lots of of hundreds of thousands washed by BC casinos, most of it on Coleman’s watch.

The inquiry is inspecting whether or not the province’s former Liberal authorities conspired with the BC Lottery Corp. (BCLC) to wilfully ignore the problem, as has been alleged by some former gaming investigators.

Critics say the BCLC is conflicted as a result of it’s a on line casino operator in addition to the physique that gives regulatory oversight to the on line casino sector.  Paperwork introduced at this week’s listening to confirmed BC gaming revenues rocketed from about C$880 million in 2005 to C$1.6 billion in 2012. BCLC officers obtain private bonuses for attaining their income objectives.

Coleman Hamstrung on Cash Laundering

Final November, Fred Pinnock, who was commander of BC’s Unlawful Gaming Enforcement Staff (IGET), testified that he held Coleman “largely accountable” for the felony gangs that had been “uncontrolled” at BC Lottery Corp-operated casinos.

Pinnock’s unit was disbanded by Coleman in 2009, a 12 months after it compiled a damning report on the casinos’ infiltration by organized crime. BC’s cash laundering epidemic reached its top round 2015.

Coleman informed the fee that he didn’t ignore the suspicious money flowing by the casinos however was hamstrung legally on what he might do about it.

My query was numerous occasions, so if these are illicit funds, why can’t we seize them?” mentioned Coleman. “And the recommendation I bought again is we will’t show that they’re.”

“There was by no means ever, that I noticed in on a regular basis I used to be in authorities, some extent the place anyone mentioned, ‘Ignore a income stream that might be unlawful for the good thing about authorities.’”

Why Was IGET Disbanded?

Requested why he disbanded IGET, Coleman defined he believed the unit was ineffective and understaffed and that the Treasury board wouldn’t have continued funding it.

Coleman is a former police officer who oversaw gaming within the province between 2001and 2013 and is a former interim chief of the opposition. He’s now retired from politics.

Because of take the stand on Friday is Kash Heed, previously BC’s solicitor normal and the police chief for West Vancouver. Pinnock has testified that Heed was privately crucial of Coleman’s perspective to the cash laundering subject.

Pinnock has introduced secret recordings of conversations between himself and Heed by which Heed says Coleman was the top of an “unethical community” that was answerable for a “tsunami of cash laundering” in BC casinos.

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