Department of Internal Affairs #pokierorts #coverup #TTCF

● The Trusts Charitable Foundation (TTCF Inc) ● The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd (TTCF Ltd) ● Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU) ● Professional Rugby ● Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport ● Harness Racing ● Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) ● Gambling Commission ● Pokies ● Rorts ● Organised Crime ● Serious Fraud ● Political Interference

*Weblink not available at
The following text in the print edition of today’s Sunday Star-Times (page A6) has been scanned, in the public interest. This post will be updated when a link appears.

### Sunday Star-Times Sun, 11 Nov 2012
Pokie man stopped from rort inquiries
By Steve Kilgallon
A senior Internal Affairs investigator says he was prevented from probing pokie rorts by his own department because it did not have the confidence to prosecute major crimes.
Dave Bermingham, an investigator and analyst who left the department in August, said Internal Affairs was incompetent and should be stripped of its role investigating gaming machine fraud.
Bermingham’s claims will be discussed in Parliament, with the Greens’ Internal Affairs spokeswoman Denise Roche prepared to table questions about the department’s behaviour. “They had no appetite for the [gaming] industry and they don’t understand it,” said Bermingham, a former fraud squad policeman.
“There are very clever people committing frauds… and a government agency which takes little or no action and wants to treat it as regulation and compliance. When investigators identified serious breaches of the Gaming Act, they were unsupported and stifled and their investigations [were] watered down, or just, over time, vanished.”
Bermingham said pokie scams revealed in the Star-Times over the past five years were just the “tip of the iceberg: some pokie trusts have been allowed to get away with blatant theft and dishonesty”.
For two years from 2008, Bermingham compiled several investigation reports into a controversial pokie trust, The Trusts Charitable Foundation (TTCF), and recommended serious sanctions, and even criminal action, be taken.
The case was later taken off him, and either no action taken or minor penalties issued.
When the case was reopened this year following Star-Times stories, Bermingham wasn’t asked for help. Instead, he says: “A senior manager here made a statement to me that he had been told to make the thing go away.
“I suspected it was a semi-flippant comment, but as it transpires, that’s what they have done. I was the person who knew the most information about the whole thing, but they deliberately never talked to me about it.”
Former TTCF contractor Martin Legge, who first brought the TTCF story to light, said Bermingham’s revelations were “further proof that the investigation into The Trusts Community Foundation was a cover-up. Internal Affairs are being dictated to by pokie trusts and protecting their interests above those of the community.”
After he filed his “damning” reports into TTCF, Bermingham said he was flown almost daily to Wellington to discuss them. Then suddenly he was shut out. “I accept you can’t always lay charges, but there are other avenues that can be taken. But the appetite was not there to act.”
Bermingham said he became increasingly frustrated and accepted redundancy in a reshuffle.
“The department has some very clever people who know how to follow the money, and they get stopped and everyone becomes deflated and stops looking.”
He said constant lobbying by politicians in specific cases had also made DIA gun-shy. Questions asked of the department by Revenue Minister Peter Dunne around the TTCF case had helped kill it, he said. “The mere questioning seemed to cause the department to go gun-shy and shut things down. Management fear for their careers; they would rather take no action, make no decision so they are not criticised.”
Just before leaving Internal Affairs, Bermingham conducted a detailed study of where TTCF gave grants, and discovered a huge flow of money from North Island poker machines into South Island racing clubs, but was told not to progress to the next stage.
Internal Affairs boss Maarten Quivooy denied managers had been told to shut down the TTCF inquiry.
He said decisions not to prosecute were rigorously tested with Crown Law while the TTCF inquiry had been examined by the auditor-general.
But he said he understood Bermingham’s frustrations.
“If you look from the perspective of a frontline inspector, that can sometimes be their experience,” Quivooy said. “They do their investigation work to the best of their ability and, from their perspective, it can look like it has gone into a black hole. But it has had active and thorough scrutiny and consideration by senior management.
“We can do better how we communicate that to staff and how we provide feedback.”
Graeme Ramsey, chief executive of the Problem Gambling Foundation, said despite a long history of rorts, there had yet to be a prosecution of a gaming trust trustee.

Who is Maarten Quivooy? See comment.

Sunday Star-Times:
29.4.12 Steve Kilgallon Case closed without call to whistleblower
22.4.12 Steve Kilgallon The inside man

Related Posts:
26.10.12 Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) – CULPABLE #pokierorts
24.10.12 Bad press for ORFU -NZ Herald
3.10.12 DScene: Russell Garbutt seeks DIA file to Crown Law #PokieRorts
1.10.12 Apology requested from ORFU [email]
15.9.12 Martin Legge responds to NZ Herald news
27.8.12 DIA’s political cover-up of TTCF and ORFU rorts
22.8.12 Martin Legge releases emails to Dunedin community #ORFU
15.8.12 Keeping ORFU sweet [email]
12.8.12 DIA reshuffle: new investigation teams, money laundering, criticism
28.7.12 Pokie fraud: ODT fails to notice own backyard
25.7.12 Martin Legge backgrounds TTCF (pokie trust) and Portage and Waitakere Licensing Trusts #DIA
24.7.12 Mention in NZ Herald dispatches: TTCF and friends ORFU
15.7.12 Martin Legge responds to media stories on Murray Acklin, TTCF and DIA
26.6.12 Department of Internal Affairs, ORFU, Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport, and TTCF
22.6.12 Connections: ORFU and local harness racing
22.6.12 ORFU board responsibility for black-tie dinner bill [emails]
5.6.12 The Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill
4.6.12 Questions: ORFU and the Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport
26.5.12 DIA media release
23.5.12 NZRU-appointed change manager talks
29.4.12 Department of Internal Affairs, the gambling authority
22.4.12 DIA, OAG, TTCF and Otago Rugby swim below the line

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport

12 responses to “Department of Internal Affairs #pokierorts #coverup #TTCF

  1. Calvin Oaten

    Does the DIA do anything at all, except obfuscate and drink coffee? The latest news of the obviously corrupt Cancer Research Charitable Trust conducting a fraudulent operation involving a $1 million plus, misappropriation of monies, with less than 5% going to the designated cause is another black mark on its record. The racing industry is up for investigation by the SFO, the ORFU still hangs about like dead meat, and now this. It beggars belief that this can happen so consistently within a single department without the notice being drawn to the attention of authorities. The “three monkeys philosophy” is in full swing.

    • Internal Affairs launches inquiry, Serious Fraud also evaluating as charity reveals 40 per cent of funds sent offshore.

      ### NZ Herald Online 5:30 AM Monday Mar 25, 2013
      Cancer trust freezes fundraising
      By Matthew Backhouse
      A cancer charity has suspended fundraising in New Zealand amid questions over how its money is spent. It has also been revealed that nearly 40 per cent of its funds go offshore. The Cancer Research Charitable Trust was last week revealed to have donated less than 5 per cent of the $1.1 million it collected from New Zealanders over four years, with the rest going towards staff and administration costs. The Department of Internal Affairs, which oversees registered charities, has launched an urgent review of the trust.
      Read more

      ● The Trust’s executive officer is Gold Coast lawyer Troy Manhire. In 2009, Mr Manhire was investigated for fraud in South Australia, after pocketing a salary close to A$500,000 ($625,000) from the Cancer and Bowel Research Association.

  2. Russell Garbutt

    Yet another reason for the DIA to become a damn sight more proactive in exposing and bringing to account these pillars of the community who have no problems in raking out the pokie money. Currently wandering round Q’town, Wanaka and Dunedin are numerous so-called pillars of the community who are nothing other than thieves. The only difference is that they don’t break and enter, they do it by sly, nefarious means but with bigger returns. They know that the chances of being exposed by the incompetence and ineptitude of those within the DIA and other authorities are small and the risks minimal.

    BUT WE KNOW WHO THEY ARE! Their time will come and cosy little cells in Milton await them along with the kind ministrations of those a little more uncouth than what they are currently used to.

  3. amanda

    Problem is these people have ‘friends in high places’. Local government is one such place.

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    Home detention with all mod cons – and old cons visiting, staying in one of the guest rooms with ensuite. Tiny slapette with moisturised bus ticket with aloe vera.

  5. Hype O'Thermia

    Amanda, couldn’t help noticing this from “Hanover owners Eric Watson and Mark Hotchin want defamation suit against Bruce Sheppard heard by a judge only.”

  6. Elizabeth; a classic example of “go for the tiddlers” and leave the ‘”too hard seriously connected” scoundrels to carry on. Do not under any circumstances touch the high priests of rugby and racing, despite the $millions rorted. It could be seen as counter productive to a long “public service” career.

    • Yes Calvin, the deliberate DIA/SFO/OAG inter-agency whitewash is in FULL SWING.

      Word today all incriminating documents are being sucked into a hole, where they will be “buried for years”. But wait. So much useful information has already been released into public domain – including via national media and websites like What if? Dunedin and Race Cafe.

      How will DIA/SFO/OAG wriggle under full beams of antiseptic sunlight before the New Zealand General Election 2014 ?!

  7. Elizabeth; “how will DIA/SFO/OAG wriggle under full beams of antiseptic sunlight before the New Zealand General Election 2014?” The short answer is; as ‘public servants’ they are impervious to the cut and thrust of elections. Once it is done and dusted it is back to ‘business as usual’. As an example, where is the Dept of Labour (or whatever they are now called) over the Pike River Inquiry? Answer, not even nudged, dented or bent in any way. It as if the event never happened as far as any culpability is concerned.

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