Paul King Jin figures prominently in the gambling and real estate sections of the Cullen Commission’s report on money laundering in British Columbia.
If there was a face in BC’s public inquiry into money laundering, it had to be Paul King Jin.
The 54-year-old didn’t make the Chinese national boxing team for the Seoul Olympics in 1988, but immigrated to Quebec the following year, moved to Toronto and eventually owned a boxing salon. massage and a combat sports hall in Richmond.
Jin’s name figures prominently in the gambling and real estate sections of the 1,800-page report released June 15 by Judge Austin Cullen. The survivor of a Richmond restaurant shooting in September 2020 was not called to testify, but Cullen granted his lawyer participant status so he could cross-examine several witnesses, including whistleblower Ross Alderson , the former BC Lottery Corporation money laundering investigator.
During the three years of the investigation, the NDP government filed civil forfeiture petitions to seize the Jin’s properties. But he also sent then-tourism minister Lisa Beare to Jin’s No. 5 Road World Champion Club gymnasium for a photo shoot in August 2019 and cleared his son’s security company at the gymnasium in July 2020 (Blackcore Security and Investigations quietly shut down and relinquished the license in November 2020.)
Jin’s attorney, Greg DelBigio, said he had no comment on Cullen’s final report. During closing arguments last October, DelBigio emphasized his client’s innocence, having not been charged in the RCMP’s E-Pirate investigation into the Silver International underground bank.
“The only conclusion that can be drawn is that, despite the best efforts of investigators, there was no evidence that would warrant a prosecution of Mr. Jin for suspicion or allegations in relation to the same matters that made the case. ‘under investigation by this commission,’ DelBigio told Cullen.
Cullen heard evidence that B.C. casinos received $376 million in suspicious cash from 2012 to 2015, including $279 million in $20 bills. BC Lottery Corp. Anti-Money Laundering Officer Daryl Tottenham testified that Jin or his network facilitated the majority of this money and even set up a shop in an 11th floor room in the hotel at the River Rock Casino Resort. Cullen also recalled how BCLC investigator Steve Beeksma, who previously worked at Great Canadian Gaming, said that Jin did not charge high profile borrowers interest and that their debts were often repaid in China.
An RCMP forensic accounting revealed that Jin received $27 million from Silver International between June and October 2015 and that police seized promissory notes at Jin’s properties for more than $26 million in loans. E-Pirate collapsed in 2018 and was never brought to justice due to the inadvertent disclosure of an informant’s identity. One of the two defendants, Jian Jun Zhu, 44, was murdered in a restaurant in Richmond in September 2020. Richard Charles Reed, 23, is charged with second degree murder and Yuexi Lei, 37, is charged with complicity afterwards.
The commission analyzed Jin’s long list of civil lawsuits against borrowers. Cullen didn’t believe he was just lending money to people buying and renovating homes.
“While some of the funds may have been used for this purpose, I find that the predominant purpose of these loans was to enable high-stakes players to make large cash purchases at casinos in the Lower Mainland and that Mr. Jin described the loans as related to acquiring or renovating real estate to gain a strategic advantage in the litigation process,” Cullen wrote.
Cullen’s report said Jin first came to BCLC’s attention as a cash facilitator in 2012, despite having been “constantly in the background” at casinos for years. previously.
In September 2012, Jin was officially banned from all casinos for a year, but continued to deposit money in or near casinos. He was once spotted delivering a bag full of $150,000 in various denominations to Starlight Casino. Jin was banned again in November 2012 for five years, but continued to deliver cash and tokens to customers.
The commission’s review of Jin’s debt collection illustrated the vulnerability of private lending to money laundering, prompting recommendations for better regulation.
Cullen believed the amounts claimed in lawsuits by Jin and his associates from 2013 to 2018 represented a small percentage of Jin’s overall private lending business. Cullen said there was little evidence before him to prove the funds came from a for-profit crime. But he noted that numerous court documents from the defendants indicated that the loans were for casino gambling and that an affidavit signed by Jin and his wife offered some insight.
In one of the filings, according to the report, Jin admitted he loaned $200,000 cash to a defendant in November 2014 and his wife later provided another $205,000, after hours. opening of banks.
“These factors suggest that Mr. Jin had cash on hand and that lending money to his customers was an integral part of his business model,” Cullen’s report said.
The report also contained an E-Pirate transcript of the RCMP Corporal’s interview with Jin. Melvin Chizawsky, in which Jin confirmed that he often uses Silver International to exchange Chinese renminbi for Canadian dollars.
“I have already concluded that most, if not all, of the money remaining at Silver International came from for-profit criminal activities such as drug trafficking. I have no trouble finding that a significant portion of this illicit money was provided to Mr. Jin to fuel his private lending business,” Cullen wrote.
One of Cullen’s 101 recommendations is that the province establish a money laundering intelligence and investigation team that could monitor private lenders who use corporate vehicles and applicants to circumvent police and regulators. .
“I am also very concerned about the ability of a private lender to use the legal process to enforce loan agreements in which illicit funds are advanced to the borrower as part of a money laundering scheme. Such use of the judicial process tends to undermine public confidence in the courts.