Fired casino exec fears being "fall person" amid money laundering inquiry | Anti Corruption Digest

Sunday 26th January 2020

-- Anti-Corruption News Story Curated by Anti-Corruption Digest International Risk & Compliance News

A former manager of VIP gaming at River Rock Casino and Resort in Richmond believes he's being set up as the "fall person" - claiming his recent termination was a means to muzzle him ahead of a public inquiry into money laundering and deflect responsibility for any such allegations from his superiors.

Walter Soo claims in a lawsuit filed last month in BC Supreme Court that he was fired August 29, 2019, as Great Canadian Gaming Corp.'s executive vice-president of player and gaming development and was asked to sign a settlement agreement that "would force him to refrain from co-operating or participating in proceedings" involving Great Canadian.

Despite the agreement being a condition of a severance package that included two years' salary ($443,000), plus stock options, Soo claims he did not sign the agreement as it could compromise his reputation following reports by Global News naming him as a company executive who would have been responsible for preventing alleged widespread money laundering in the casino - something he denies.

"The actions of Great Canadian were devised with the ulterior motive of preventing Mr. Soo from clarifying his employment obligations and addressing and clearing his name of the defamatory statements made against him," Soo claims.

"They were designed to protect Great Canadian, its Board and its senior executives," including the two most senior who he reported to: President and CEO Rod Baker and President of Strategic Growth and Chief Compliance Officer Terrance Doyle - as well as board members, including Canadian Senator Larry Campbell, who has chaired the compliance and security committee since June 2015.

Campbell, a board member since 2008, has $2.3 million in company shares, according to Great Canadian's March 2019 management circular.

Campbell did not respond to Glacier Media for comment on his role and actions directing the committee as it relates to anti-money laundering regulations. Campbell is a former mayor of Vancouver who championed harm reduction policies for street drug users.

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