Tag Archives: Prosecution

Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) – CULPABLE #pokierorts

● 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

### ODT Online Fri, 26 Oct 2012
Trust audit labelled ‘a white wash’
By Hamish McNeilly
[Whistleblower Martin Legge] says an Internal Affairs audit is a “whitewash” after it failed to act on his material involving the Otago Rugby Football Union, South Auckland bars and a pokie trust.[…]An audit of The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd (TTCFL) was released last week under the Official Information Act. Earlier this year, the ODT reported the union had bought three Auckland-based bars and entered a relationship with the pokies trust, then called The Trusts Charitable Foundation (TTCF).

“At each change of ownership, it was looked at, and there was no evidence of illegality, and we had no reason to not approve the changes,” the [DIA] audit noted.

Mr Legge alleges that relationship – concerning the ownership of the South Auckland bars known as the “Jokers Group” – resulted in the union receiving more than $6 million in pokie grants from the trust between 2005 and 2011.
The Internal Affairs audit, which covers the period April 1, 2010, to January 31 this year, noted “the Department has undertaken a number of separate investigations into ‘Jokers Group’ and its ownership company over the years”.

ORFU general manager Richard Kinley said he could not comment because the audit concerned an earlier administration, and he had not read the released audit.

The audit also examined three Jokers Group grants given to the ORFU from the trust totalling $379,767 in approved payments. They were found to be compliant.
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Bad press for ORFU –NZ Herald

● 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

### nzherald.co.nz 5:30 AM Wednesday Oct 24, 2012
Opinion
We’re relying on money poured through pokies
By Brian Rudman
The latest Pub Charity advertisement, promoting the $20,186,931 distributed to good causes over the past six months, has a certain similarity to the advertising blitzkrieg being conducted by the cigarette industry. Both try to distract us from the distinctly unpleasant underbellies of their respective industries.[…]Pub Charity chief executive Martin Cheer, in last Sunday’s advertisement[…]claimed that “charitable donations” that are “critical for causes from air rescue to opera” will be in jeopardy. He said Auckland Council was about to feed community groups and charitable organisations “a super size pile of bull about the future of charitable gaming machines in their territory” and that staff were using incorrect and misleading statistics to persuade community boards that “gaming machine funding is not that important or effective”. Mr Cheer’s comments are just a rehash of an earlier statement he issued in May, but they did draw my attention once more to where Pub Charities funds come from.

Two years ago, the former chief executive of the Community Gaming Association, Francis Wever, wrote to the Minister of Internal Affairs claiming that corrupt behaviour in his own industry was “all-pervasive and pernicious” with “endemic non-compliance”.

This year we read of how the Otago Rugby Union bought three South Auckland pubs then siphoned $5 million in pokie profits out of the areas – mainly Manurewa – to help prop up the failing Dunedin sporting body. What’s protecting the pokie industry from reform is that it props up respectable New Zealand.
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● Brian Rudman is a Herald columnist looking at Auckland and national issues.

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DScene: Russell Garbutt seeks DIA file to Crown Law #pokierorts

● 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

### DScene 3 Oct 2012 (page 3)
DIA says no wrongdoing
By Wilma McCorkindale
Dunedin man Russell Garbutt questions the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) investigations into alleged pokie rorts involving Otago sporting organisations. Garbutt, a former chairman of Sport Otago, said the DIA told him at a meeting in Wellington earlier this year it had a major investigation under way into an alleged series of complicated transactions allegedly directing pokie funds through an organisation called the Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport.

“It is abundantly clear, in my view, the Centre of Excellence was operating for the ORFU,” Garbutt said.

Related pokie grants were administered by The Trusts Charitable Foundation. It has since been revealed the [Centre of Excellence] was applying for grants [funded] by pokies at certain Auckland bars on behalf of the Otago Rugby Football Union. It was also revealed the ORFU had interests in the bars.

“If the DIA is going to prosecute, it has to go to Crown Law. Crown Law is saying there’s insufficient evidence to prosecute. I’m saying let’s see the evidence, let’s see the file they produced to Crown Law, and see if [the DIA] produced all of the evidence that was supplied to them. What is the basis by which Crown Law says there is insufficient evidence?”
{continues} #bookmark

Register to read DScene online at
http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Pokie fraud: ODT fails to notice own backyard

● 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

The newspaper had better start naming names.

### ODT Online Sat, 28 Jul 2012
Editorial: Poker machine proceeds
Hundreds of millions of coins rattle through poker machines in New Zealand pubs each year. A proportion of those coins pour back out of the pokies to be scooped up by punters delighted to receive an instant return on a risky investment. The rest tumble into the Government’s tax coffers and the vaults of gaming trusts which then get to decide how they are distributed.

It is no wonder that, when some industry figures allege endemic noncompliance and outright corruption in the pokie business, many are willing to listen. And while such sweeping statements inevitably tarnish honest operators, there has long been, at the very least, the whiff of questionable decision-making involving some trusts.

In the South, one trust had its licence suspended for five days after spending money on venue fit-outs for high-returning sites. In other cases, legislative roadblocks appear to have been simply driven around. There have been examples in the past of organisations that, having failed to set up their own pokie trust, have entered a relationship with an existing trust and got money that way.

Hearings on Mr Flavell’s Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill are slated to begin next month. Lawmakers will face strident views from camps on both sides. They clearly have some serious thinking to do.
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Related Posts:
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 [David Fisher]
15.7.12 Martin Legge responds to media stories on Murray Acklin, TTCF and DIA
13.7.12 We know exactly where ORFU has been. It’s locked there. It’s not over.
26.6.12 Department of Internal Affairs, ORFU, Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport, and TTCF [Russell Garbutt]
22.6.12 Connections: ORFU and local harness racing [Martin Legge]
20.6.12 Mayor Cull leaves the planet [Russell Garbutt]
4.6.12 Questions: ORFU and the Centre for Excellence in Amateur Sport [Russell Garbutt]
26.5.12 DIA media release
22.5.12 Join ORFU board, without forensic audit to show how millions went west?
29.4.12 Department of Internal Affairs, the gambling authority
22.4.12 DIA, OAG, TTCF and Otago Rugby swim below the line [Martin Legge / Steve Kilgallon]

Media Links:
14.7.12 NZ Herald Watchdog: Pokie checks not up to mark
25.6.12 Sunday Star Times Richard Boock (Sunday Star Times 24/6/12) on pokie funding of sport
20.6.12 D Scene – ORFU $480k debt deal stays #bookmark Register
2.6.12 ODT Determined to clean up sector
2.6.12 ODT Internal affairs to investigate ORFU, pokies
2.6.12 ODT MP’s query sees ‘all hell’ break loose
29.5.12 ODT Rugby: Financial troubleshooter warns job not over
23.5.12 ODT Grants meant for amateur rugby used to pay ORFU creditors
3.5.12 Sunday Star Times/Stuff Stadium plans met with scorn [‘Stadium builds under fire – sport’]
3.5.12 ODT Dinner profits went on day-to-day costs
1.5.12 ODT Small creditors get their money back from ORFU
23.4.12 The Standard Gaming industry whistleblower
22.4.12 Sunday Star Times/Stuff The inside man

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Martin Legge backgrounds TTCF (pokie trust) and Portage and Waitakere Licensing Trusts #DIA

Comment received.
Gaming industry whistleblower Martin Legge backgrounds comments in David Fisher’s article ‘MP keeps heat on pokie trusts‘ (NZ Herald 24.7.12).

Martin Legge
Submitted on 2012/07/25 at 10:33 am

The full article has TTCF Chairman, Ross Clow claiming the new TTCF structure has reduced costs. What he has failed to tell readers is that the former structure returned in excess of 50% to the community for many years. That was in the time before TTCF began paying $600k per annum to a private company (TTCF West Auckland Ltd), a company purposely set up by the Portage and Waitakere Licensing Trusts, and of which Mr Clow and Warren Flaunty were Directors.

Portage and Waitakere Licensing Trusts are TTCF’s biggest and most powerful pub operators and despite already receiving $$millions per annum for hosting TTCF pokie machines at those bars, they demanded more from TTCF. This company was simply a means by which the licensing trusts transferred a large proportion of its own commercial staff and office costs off the balance sheet of their liquor business on to the balance sheet of a pokie trust (TTCF) who would use community funds to make the payments. It made the bottom line of a liquor business look better than it was.

In 2006 DIA warned TTCF against the costs but TTCF went ahead and did it anyway. After waiting 2.5 years before acting, DIA launched a 6 month long investigation into TTCF and the outcome was that just as they had warned, the costs associated with the Company were not actual, reasonable or necessary, and simply a duplication of services and a means to mislead the West Auckland Community into believing the grants were all coming from the licensing trusts.
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The Trusts Community (previously Charitable) Foundation “…faced questions over payments to the Otago Rugby Football Union. Lawyers at the sport’s central body, the NZ Rugby Union, handed over material to the DIA of information found while carrying out its recent financial rescue.”
-David Fisher, 24 July

Related Post:
24.7.12 Mention in NZ Herald dispatches: TTCF and friends ORFU

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Again: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]

From: bevkiwi@hotmail.com
To: jcurragh@xtra.co.nz
CC: hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz; murray.kirkness@odt.co.nz; craig.page@odt.co.nz
Subject: The ORFU scandal, missing trust monies and reported fraudulent activities
Date: Sun, 27 May 2012 21:39:11 +1200

Sunday 27th May 2012

Dear Jeremy

You have still not responded to my emails dated Sunday 20th May and Wednesday 23rd May 2012.
This is not a good look as I was expecting some reassurance from you, as the ORFU change manager, re perceived financial irregularities of ORFU.
To date, you have chosen not to name the trusts involved in the missing money, you have given no reassurance that the ORFU were not trading illegally while insolvent, you have offered no public apology to the amateur rugby clubs who have missed out on receiving the public money the ORFU applied for, you have offered no explanation how you see nothing illegal about spending public money on unauthorised purposes, you have offered no explanation why the ORFU did not pay their $25,352 DVML party/booze bill, pocketing $52,000 from the event then continuing to hock up other bills around town.

Now we have a report from the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) website and ODT that “an elderly man who ripped off pokies community grants to the tune of $605,550 has been sentenced to community detention”. Judge Charles Blackie called the case a “very elaborate scam”. There appear to be a number of similarities in this case and the ORFU case.

I will outline the similarities as follows:

1. Counties Manukau Bowls (CMB)
The DIA found numerous fraudulent grant applications to gaming machine societies from Counties Manukau Bowls (CMB), an umbrella organisation for south Auckland bowling clubs. Noel Henry Gibbons implemented a scheme in which constituent clubs or CMB would invest indirectly in hotels where poker machines operated so that, in turn, those clubs could benefit from grants of pokies proceeds.
Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU)
In the SST it was recently reported that the ORFU had invested in three South Auckland bars and were siphoning money over a few years to the tune of $5m.

2. Counties Manukau Bowls (CMB)
Gibbons also applied for grants from gaming machine societies for bowling machine maintenance, using the money to illegally repay loans for the purchase of hotels.
Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU)
The ORFU have been spending monies from unnamed trusts for unauthorised purposes. This has occurred on many occasions and the money has gone ‘in the pot’.

3. Counties Manukau Bowls (CMB)
Judge Blackie said Gibbons knew he acted dishonestly each time he made a false application at the expense of the community.
Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU)
I do not have any information re false applications except that the ORFU continued to make applications to unnamed trusts and used this public money for unauthorised purposes.
The black-tie dinner also has similarities in that the ORFU deliberately ran off without paying their $25,352 DVML bill whilst pocketing $52,000 into their own pot.

Jeremy, you have not offered any assurances as outlined above and in my previous emails nor have you indicated whether you have reported the ORFU irregularities to the appropriate authorities.

Yours sincerely
Bev Butler

Related Posts and Comments:
26.5.12 DIA media release
23.5.12 Latest: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
20.5.12 Update: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
18.5.12 Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
11.5.12 Dunedin shootout: mafia bosses
2.5.12 Ratepayers pay for ORFU black tie dinner at stadium
1.5.12 ORFU’s draft constitution
29.4.12 Department of Internal Affairs, the gambling authority
22.4.12 DIA, OAG, TTCF and Otago Rugby swim below the line
31.3.12 Rob Hamlin: The ORFU’s small creditors: If I was one of them…
23.3.12 ORFU position
15.3.12 Message To ORFU Creditors, if you want to see your money
9.3.12 DCC considers writing off ORFU’s $400,000 debt
2.3.12 Demand a full independent forensic audit of ORFU

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DIA media release

What if? Website Reminder:
ORFU – Otago Rugby Football Union
TTCF (Inc) – The Trusts Charitable Foundation (being wound up; established as a Charitable Trust by deed in July 1989)
TTCF Ltd – The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd (set up and licensed on 11 June 2010)

Received yesterday.

[Begins]

Department of Internal Affairs
Media Release

25 May 2012

Sentenced for defrauding community of pokie grants

An Internal Affairs investigation uncovered a pokie machine rort that resulted in a significant loss of grant funding going to the community. The investigation revealed that numerous grant applications to gaming machine societies from Counties Manukau Bowls (CMB), an umbrella organisation for South Auckland bowling clubs, were fraudulent.

From late 2006 to September 2009 Counties Manukau Bowls employed Noel Henry Gibbons, 79, of Manurewa, to apply for gaming machine grants.

Mr Gibbons implemented a scheme whereby constituent clubs or CMB itself would invest indirectly in purchasing pubs where pokie machines operated – so that in turn those clubs could benefit from grants of pokie machine proceeds.

Mr Gibbons also applied for grants from gaming machine societies for “bowling green maintenance” – but some of the money was used illegally to repay loans for the purchase of pubs. This money should have been distributed to local community purposes as grants. Paying off loans is a commercial and illegal use of funding generated from pokie machines.

Mr Gibbons fabricated quotes and invoices from “green keeping contractors” to support grant applications and the provision of services. None of those named in the invoices as billing for a service knew anything of the work they were supposed to have done.

He was sentenced in the Manukau District Court today to six months’ community detention for obtaining $605,550 by deception and of using forged documents.

Judge Charles Blackie said Gibbons’ offending was a “very elaborate” scam and an “unlawful scheme”. The defendant knew he acted dishonestly each time he made a false application and this was at the expense of the community.

Judge Blackie emphasised the need to hold the defendant accountable and responsible, to deter others who might be inclined to “rip off” the system, and to provide for the community’s interests as the victims of this offending. He adopted a starting point of two years six months’ imprisonment but imposed a lenient sentence because of Gibbons’ guilty plea, advanced age and poor health.

Maarten Quivooy, Internal Affairs’ General Manager of Regulatory and Compliance Operations said organisations cannot expect that buying into pokie machine venues will ensure favourable treatment for grant applications.

“It’s illegal and the Department works to ensure that pokie money, which belongs to the community, is protected,” he said. “We want to ensure that community groups have fair access to gambling-generated funds and will take action over any attempts to capture funding flows that are detected.

“We are very pleased that our investigation has led to Mr Gibbons being held accountable for fraud, and for defrauding his community. A clear message to the gambling sector is this: where we come across deliberate and wilful attempts to take community funding we will take strong and decisive action to hold people accountable”.

Media contact:
Trevor Henry, senior communications adviser, Department of Internal Affairs
Ph 04 495 7211; cell 021 245 8642

[ends]

Read it at the Department of Internal Affairs website
Other DIA News, Press Releases & Consultation (Link)

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