Tag Archives: The Trusts Charitable Foundation

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)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Join ORFU board, without forensic audit to show how millions went west?

The Otago Daily Times believes the two members from the old board will be Andrew Rooney and John Faulks.

### ODT Online Tue, 22 May 2012
2 ORFU members retained?
By Steve Hepburn
The new board of the Otago Rugby Football Union is expected to be named today and is likely to include two faces from the old board. The six-member board was to have been named last Tuesday but legal issues and a short period to interview applicants and make appointments forced an extension.
Read more

[Eionland connections]

The six-member board?

● Andrew Rooney (Dunedin investment adviser, Forsyth Barr; Air Force Liaison Officer, Otago Region; former Engineering Officer, RNZAF; past chairman, Dunedin Rugby Football Club)

● John Faulks (Dunedin managing director S R M Realty Ltd – Southern Wide Real Estate; previously stock and station and banking industries; coached Otago junior age group teams)

● Simon Spark (Arrowtown self-employed contractor/linesman; co-owner of Dakins Waste Solutions Ltd; Arrowtown club president; news; Mr Nice Guy 2011)

● Keith Cooper (Dunedin chief executive, Silver Fern Farms)

● Doug Harvie (Dunedin chartered accountant, Harvie Green Wyatt)

● Kelvin Collins (Queenstown real estate agency owner, Harcourts; links with Wakatipu club)

Or simply ask ORFU change manager Jeremy Curragh about the trust monies that will need to be refunded as they weren’t spent on the authorised purpose; this “happened on a number of occasions due to ORFU facing cashflow problems”. He says “The money is not “missing” rather it was used to pay other creditors.” Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Department of Internal Affairs, the gambling authority

Comment received.

Russell Garbutt
2012/04/29 at 3:54 pm

Doesn’t it seem incredible that the DIA, when presented with an enquiry that on the surface appears to be more than dodgy, chooses to get a local investigator to phone one of the people involved, that investigator issues a warning to that person that things are being looked at for any future applications, chooses not to follow up with the appropriate people within the pokie fund – even when these people have what appears to be solid evidence that moves were made to obscure just who was really asking for grants. Did the DIA investigate with people like SPARC? Not to my knowledge. Seems to me that when anything is just a little bit too hard then the DIA run for the hills. Frankly, I can’t think of any work that the DIA have done in recent times that has really resulted in anything other than warning dodgy operations into becoming more covert.

*Sport New Zealand (Sport NZ) is the new name for the government organisation responsible for sport and recreation (formerly SPARC). -Eds

See today’s story at Sunday Star Times by senior writer Steve Kilgallon
Pokie Funds: Case closed without call to whistleblower

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DIA, OAG, TTCF and Otago Rugby swim below the line

While the Star-Times has, over the past eight years, unveiled a string of questionable arrangements around pokie machines involving a number of gaming trusts, the department [Internal Affairs] has brought only a few major prosecutions.

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 22/04/2012
The inside man
By Steve Kilgallon – Sunday Star Times
Martin Legge spent two decades as a cop in Levin, catching the crims and then, as police prosecutor, taking them to court. Now, he says, he wonders why. “I’m embarrassed that we used to run around chasing guys for $1000 they ripped off Social Welfare,” he says. “The big money is heading out the back door through softly regulated industries full of people in suits who should know better.” After leaving the police, Legge worked for a gaming machine trust which gave out poker machine grants. What he saw over the next decade shocked, disgusted and disillusioned him. He tried to brief his local MP, the gaming minister Nathan Guy, on the state of the industry. And then Internal Affairs, the industry watchdog, rang him up. Would he, it asked, become a whistleblower? Legge and his wife Liz hand-delivered two bulging ringbinders of documents to the department, packed with incriminating emails (some marked “delete this email forever”) to and from his colleagues at the Trusts Charitable Foundation. He also gave Internal Affairs a 9200-word statement. He was interviewed by an investigator who said he was confident of a result. Then he was told it was a “slamdunk”. In January 2011, the head of investigations told the Legges the case was “90 per cent complete” and he was contemplating seven serious charges against individuals and the trust. Legge waited, and waited. He wrote again to Guy, who rebuffed him, he contacted the auditor-general’s office, and pursued Internal Affairs until March [2012], when the department finally told him it was, pretty much, case closed. By then, Legge says wryly, relations were “strained”.

So why, when he supplied Internal Affairs with material on a string of questionable incidents that could have resulted in multiple prosecutions, has nothing happened?

In March, Dave Sayers [at Internal Affairs] finally wrote, essentially dismissing most of Legge’s key concerns and, in two cases, around Acklin’s behaviour and $5m of grants given to the Otago Rugby Union, said investigations continued, although allegations around those two incidents were now as much as six years old.

Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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