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The trial in a federal building in Las Vegas of four people charged with running a high-stakes gambling ring is just getting underway and former Bell Casino gaming executive LaRue Tharpe is ready to testify. Tharpe, who is now based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is one of the defendants in a racketeering case that involves allegations of theft, money laundering and money misappropriation.

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Former B.C. Corporation and Lottery anti-money laundering director Ross Alderson has come out of the closet once again. After several attempts to contact him, Mr. Alderson agreed to testify in the Cullen Commission’s investigation of money laundering allegedly occurring in the county’s casinos.

The former Crown Corporation executive had originally applied for investigative status in 2019, but his application was withdrawn a month later. Mr Alderson was then called before the committee in March 2020, but declined because he was about to return to Australia. The Commission subsequently made several attempts to contact him, but without success.

Dramatic appearance

The Commission was unable to contact Mr. Alderson and he has chosen to respond to the allegations made against him regarding his conduct and related facts in connection with his employment at BCLC. He has now agreed to testify in the money laundering investigation, but no official date has yet been announced. The Commission will also consult Robert Boyle of Ernst & Young.

During his tenure as Director of Anti-Money Laundering at the Crown Agency, Mr. Alderson authored a number of reports and policies on casinos in the province. Attorney General David Eby testified during the April investigation that Mr. Eby was not a member of the public. Alderson brought it to his attention because he was concerned that classified information was being leaked to the media. Mr Eby then sought the advice of former RCMP officer Peter Herman, but Mr Alderson soon resigned.

Commissioner Austin Cullen listed several pieces of evidence showing that he leaked confidential information from the Crown corporation to the media while working in the gambling industry between 2008 and 2017. In addition, Alderson interfered with several anti-money laundering protocols filed by investigators, including. B. responsibility for the chip and maintenance and punishment of regular customers who could not provide proof of cash.

According to the investigation’s findings, the former BCLC employee also failed to follow up on suggestions to identify the source of suspicious casino money flows and was slow to share information with the Division of Gambling Policy and Enforcement. He also falsely accused another former BCLC supervisor, Robert Crooker, of directing employees to relax cash transaction policies.

Other measured values

Former gambling minister Richard Coleman was recalled for earlier inspections as part of the Cullen inquiry. When he testified in April, several charges were brought against him, including turning a blind eye to the money laundering problem and manipulating the RCMP. He was also accused of not involving the police sufficiently in investigations and of disbanding the illegal gambling unit in 2009.

In his testimony during the money laundering investigation, former Attorney General Kash Heed recounted a recorded phone conversation between himself and his lifelong friend, former RCMP officer Fred Pinnock. In the post, Heed called Coleman the most unethical group of people imaginable, but said his comment was just an opinion and not based on facts.

Source: Mulgrew, Ian. Ian Mulgrew: Elusive dirt money whistleblower to testify, Vancouver Sun, July 2, 2021.

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