Commissioner Austin Cullen, lawyer Brock Martland, and former cabinet minister and Langley East MLA Rich Coleman, as Coleman testified before the money laundering commission on Wednesday, April 28. Coleman has been recalled for May 14. (Screengrab)

Commissioner Austin Cullen, lawyer Brock Martland, and former cabinet minister and Langley East MLA Rich Coleman, as Coleman testified before the money laundering commission on Wednesday, April 28. Coleman has been recalled for May 14. (Screengrab)

Langley’s Coleman returns for second round of testimony at money laundering hearings

The former longtime Liberal MLA and cabinet minister will testify May 14.

Former longtime Langley East MLA Rich Coleman has been recalled for another round of testimony at the Cullen Commission’s hearings into money laundering in B.C. casinos.

He will return to the hearing virtually on May 14 at noon. The hearings are livestreamed publicly.

Coleman, who was the minister in charge of gaming in B.C. several times during his time in cabinet between 2001 and 2017.

During his first round of testimony on April 28, Coleman downplayed the seriousness of the money laundering issue during his time in government, and denied that the government’s motives were driven by a need for revenue from gaming.

He defended the Liberal government’s record on managing gaming, saying government briefings that described a “robust anti-money laundering regime” in B.C. were “pretty accurate.”

READ MORE: Coleman deflects questions about money laundering in B.C. casinos at hearing

He also testified that casino employees helped prevent laundering by giving the same cash back to gamblers that they had deposited, but earlier testimony by casino employees suggested that even when cash was returned, it wasn’t the same cash – bundles of $20 bills came in in huge amounts in 2010, and were returned as $100 bills, a process known as “refining,” which makes illict cash easier to handle.

READ MORE: BC money laundering inquiry hears of $800,000 and more in bags, luggage, backpacks

In the week leading up to Coleman’s testimony, the commission is hearing from international experts, from Great Britain, the United States, and Europe.

Coleman represented Langley-Aldergrove and then Langley East from 1996 to his retirement from office at the 2020 provincial election.


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