Ross Alderson is not holding back.
Alderson is the former director of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s (BCLC) anti-money laundering office. And he says he is the “whistleblower” who blew the top off B.C.’s illegal cash rings.
The scandal saw hundreds of millions of dollars laundered throughout the provinces’ casinos. And the fallout negatively impacted real estate, luxury vehicles, and the gaming sectors. Investigations have also discovered links to organized crime.
But according to Alderson, it wasn’t until he went to the media that real action took place.
“Did I leak information to the media? Yes, I did,” he said. “We wouldn’t be here today if I didn’t.”
Alderson describes “indifference” to money laundering at B.C.’s top levels
A series of scathing reports surfacing in recent years helped force the hand of B.C. Premier John Horgan. The result established the Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering on May 15, 2019.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Austin Cullen was appointed to lead the inquiry.
And that’s where Alderson found himself on Sept.9.
Testifying from his Australian home, Alderson described his anti-money laundering team as “second to none.” But, he criticized feelings of “indifference” to casino money-laundering from higher-ranking officials. That’s when he decided to leak his intel.
“I felt this needed to be out in the public forum,” Alderson said. “I saw nothing being done.”
Former premier Christy Clark takes the stand
However, Alderson, who worked in the gaming industry between 2008 – 2017, was not the only voice heard. Former premier Christy Clark and former gaming minister Rich Coleman also took the stand.
In total, 200 people, including cabinet ministers, police officers and gaming officials, have given their two cents thus far. Including senior gaming investigators who testified they had raised similar concerns as Alderson’s more than a decade prior.
Commission fires back at Alderson
On the defensive side, commission lawyer Patrick McGowan pressed Alderson on his unresponsiveness. He was initially summoned to testify in March 2020 but failed to attend.
McGowan also questioned why an international “manhunt” was necessary to find the former lottery official.
“I wasn’t exactly hiding in a cave in Afghanistan,” said Alderson. “I was in Australia, paying taxes.”
“There has been a global pandemic over the last year. My priority has been the safety of my family. I’m living on the other side of the world.”
Cullen’s final report and recommendations on the matter are due on Dec.15.