Crown Cage Boss Missed Obvious Money Laundering Red Flags

An experienced cage boss at Crown Perth failed to act on obvious money laundering red flags despite preparing a $1.1 million cash transfer.

Crown Perth‘s newly-appointed cage boss failed to spot obvious money laundering red flags as recently as April 2019. Jarrod Campbell oversaw the preparation of a $1.1 million cash transfer between a junket operator and a company-controlled bank account.

Campbell succeeded David Brown as Crown Perth’s general manager of cage and account in March. he oversaw a massive telegraphic transfer of $1.1 million worth of cash in April 2019. The fact Singaporean currency made up some of the banknotes, the junket operator was in Malaysia, and the transfer used an Indonesian money changer, did not raise any red flags for Campbell.

The Crown Perth Royal Commission heard the $1.1 million transfer happened on April 2, 2019. Campbell prepared the transfer in three lots of $300,000 and one lot of $200,000, more red flags he failed to spot. Campbell, an experienced cage manager, who had been with the casino since 2007, saw nothing wrong with the transactions.

Disbelief at Missed Red Flags

Patricia Cahill, a senior counsel assisting the commission, does not believe Campbell did not see any red flags.

“This is $1.1 million cash you’re seeing here, Mr Campbell. So irrespective of how it’s broken up, just the quantity of banknotes, did it not look suspicious coming through an Indonesian money changer?

“Probably not at the time,” Campbell replied.

“It’s 2019, it’s only a couple of years ago Mr Campbell. April 2019. It plainly looks suspicious to anybody, doesn’t it?”

“I could see why you would think that, yes,” Campbell said.

Ms. Cahill called the transaction an obvious risk and a money laundering risk. Campbell agree it was a red flag.

Cahill grilled Campbell for two hours. She could not fathom why Campbell did not raise the red flags concerning the $1.1 million cash transfer. Almost as unbelievable is the fact Campbell claimed to recall little to nothing about the transaction.

David Brown, the man Campbell replaced at Crown Perth, faced the royal commission the day before Campbell’s grilling. The commission quizzed Brown about a series of transactions made into Crown’s Riverbank account between 2013-2015. All the payments were under $10,000 with most from overseas; yet more red flags.

$10,000 transactions trigger a report to the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (AUSTRAC). Amounts under $10,000 go unreported. The scrutinised deposits completed at several bank branches before landing in Crown’s Riverbank account. It is a practice known as “structuring.”

The ANZ bank closed Crown’s Riverbank account in 2014 over structuring fears. Crown opened new accounts with Commonwealth Bank, and continued the practice.

Things Do Not Look Good For Crown

The Crown Melbourne Royal Commission presents its ruling on October 15, following an 11-week extension. The Perth royal commission presents its findings in March 4, 2022, again after an extension.

Everything points to Crown losing both its Melbourne and Perth licenses, as things stand. Its Crown Sydney casino remains closed after Crown was deemed unsuitable to hold a casino license in Sydney.

There is not a single senior Crown employee who has come out of the Melbourne royal commission with an ounce of credit. Indeed, several directors fell on their swords, leaving the board room rather bare.

Peter Cohen, former CEO and Executive Commissioner for Victoria’s state gaming regulator estimated Crown had “a 33% chance and shrinking” of keeping its Melbourne licence when asked in July 2021. The likelihood is now into single digits.

Clear evidence of money laundering and a blatant disregard for any rules was thought to be limited to Crown’s Melbourne property. This is not the case because the Perth inquiry has turned up much of the same.

There appears to be a culture ingrained into Crown that makes its senior staff believe they are above the law. The fact Crown Perth kept its Pearl Room VIP area open during the last lockdown in the state is a testament to that.