Tag Archives: TTCF Ltd

Audit and Review, Deloitte

U N N E R V I N G ● N E W S

“If Deloitte was caught with one such brazenly egregious case, just what else is there that goes unreported, and undiscovered when it comes to corporate “books”, not only in Brazil but also in the US.”

### zerohedge.com Dec 5, 2016 9:43 PM
Auditor Deloitte Fined A Record $8 Million For Massive Fraud
By Tyler Durden
Remember when auditors were, by their very definition, supposed to be the embodiment of credibility, trustworthiness and moral fibre? The Brazilian arm of Big Four auditing giant, Deloitte, forgot these simple prerequisites and as a result the US auditing watchdog fined the firm a record $8 million for what amounts to massive fraud: falsifying audit reports, altering documents and providing false testimony during an investigation that unearthed what it described as its “most serious” finding of misconduct.
The US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or PCAOB, also penalised or barred 12 former partners, including a national practice director, and auditors of the Brazil-based Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Auditores Independentes.
The Deloitte Brazil case is the first time the PCAOB has “charged a member of the Big Four auditing firms with fraud and for failing to co-operate with an investigation” according to the FT [Financial Times]. Worse, unlike banks which resolve similar cases without admitting or denying guilt, in settling, Deloitte Brazil admitted it had violated quality control standards and failed to co-operate with the auditing board’s inspection and subsequent investigation.
“This is the most serious misconduct we’ve uncovered. It’s cover-up after cover-up after cover-up,” Claudius Modesti, director of enforcement at the PCAOB, said. “As an investor you’re expecting that the audit was done properly and sufficiently and that wasn’t the case here.”
Not only was that not the case, but the details read like straight out of a fictional account of third-world crime.
Read more

deloitte-svg

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd, commonly referred to as Deloitte, is a UK-incorporated multinational professional services firm with operational headquarters in New York City in the United States.
Deloitte is one of the “Big Four” accounting firms and the largest professional services network in the world by revenue and number of professionals. Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, enterprise risk and financial advisory services with more than 244,400 professionals globally. In FY 2016, the company earned a record $36.8 billion USD in revenues. As of 2016, Deloitte is the 6th-largest privately owned organisation in the United States.

The Big Four:
● PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), largest accounting firm in terms of revenue.
● Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (Deloitte)
● Ernst & Young (E&Y)
● Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG)

OTAGO RUGBY & RACING ASIDE

Remember the old chestnut…. The connection between TTCF (The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd; formerly, The Trusts Charitable Foundation Inc) —and Deloitte.

“TTCF engaged Deloitte when they desperately needed an ‘independent’ audit so as to put the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) and Audit NZ off the scent. Unfortunately, even though Deloitte uncovered approximately $40k per month in mis-spent funds, TTCF ensured that was left out of the report because after all they were paying the Deloitte bill.”

Related Post and Comments:
2.6.15 Queen’s Birthday honours to rogues #TTCF #ORFU #PokieRorts
11.3.15 DIA —poor job as gambling regulator
2.2.15 Operation Chestnut: DIA, SFO fluffing round the edges #TTCF #ORFU
11.1.15 Southern complainants: IPCA won’t ensure upfront investigation…
14.12.14 DIA regulates what? Not white collar crime, not with govt looking on!
5.8.14 Gambling Commission shuts down racing’s Bluegrass pokie trust
3.2.14 DIA signed up Intralot amid concerns about bribery and corruption
31.12.13 Martin Legge: Operation Chestnut [DIA’s PR exercise]
30.12.13 DIA insights: Pokie rorts, money-go-rounds, names
11.10.13 New Zealand: Pokie trusts same everywhere #pokierorts
10.10.13 Whistleblowers’ message heard ??! #OtagoRacingClub #pokierorts
1.8.13 Politicians keeping DIA/SFO quiet on ORFU and TTCF #pokierorts
31.3.13 DIA and Office of the Auditor General stuff up bigtime #pokierorts
21.2.13 DIA, SFO investigation #pokierorts
11.11.12 Department of Internal Affairs #pokierorts #coverup #TTCF
25.7.12 Martin Legge backgrounds TTCF (pokie trust) and Portage and Waitakere Licensing Trusts #DIA

█ For more, enter the terms *pokies*, *pokie rorts*, *ttcf*, *orfu* or *dia* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: Deloitte via Wikimedia Commons

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Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Central Otago, Citifleet, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Stadiums

Operation Chestnut: DIA, SFO fluffing round the edges #TTCF #ORFU

“Operation Chestnut has been a significant investigation in the Class 4 sector and we’ve welcomed the opportunity to work in partnership with the SFO and OFCANZ.” –Maarten Quivooy, DIA

### NZ Herald Online 12:00 PM Monday Feb 2, 2015
Four in court charged with $30m pokie fraud
By Hamish Fletcher – Business reporter
A former chairman of Harness Racing New Zealand and three other people have been charged over an alleged $30 million pokie fraud. It is the biggest criminal case ever of its kind involving pokies outside of a casino. Four defendants have appeared in the Wellington District Court today over the alleged manipulation of grants which come from pokie machines, a Department of Internal Affairs spokeswoman said this morning. The defendants, charged by the Serious Fraud Office with obtaining by deception, are former HRNZ chairman Patrick O’Brien, his son Michael O’Brien, Paul Anthony Max and another person with interim name suppression. The alleged offending was uncovered during an investigation called Operation Chestnut which involved the DIA, SFO and the Organised and Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand.
Read more

*The name of the fourth defendant is known to What if? -Eds.

Related Posts and Comments:
22.1.15 ORFU chairman quits —no thanks to DCC for all its help *sniff
31.12.13 Martin Legge: Operation Chestnut [DIA’s PR exercise]

█ For more, enter the terms *operation chestnut*, *pokies*, *legge*, *whistleblower*, *rorts*, *dia*, *sfo*, *ttcf*, *gambling*, *orfu*, *rugby*, *jokers* and *racing* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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ORFU chairman quits —no thanks to DCC for all its help *sniff

Of course —with Professional Rugby the sense of entitlement goes a terrible long way. The Dunedin City Council, cracked and broken, has been unfairly or dishonestly “short-changed” by Otago Rugby and big brother NZRU. So too is the community of South Auckland (history: Jokers Bars, Gambling money spent out of area on Otago Rugby and Racing). What a delightful experiential and lucrative background exists to the Otago Union.

Straight up and rational, in the course of a chairman’s work, it’s simply the case that there’s been no mandate to name the rugby sponges who misused millions of dollars of public funds; although Jeremy Curragh, former ORFU change manager, suffered a moment when he was forced to blurt that a lesser amount of charitable funds had been misused by the union in yet another of its darkest hours. [enter *curragh* in the search box at right]

Nor has prosecution of ‘the deserving’ been progressed (fact), but then NZRU and DIA are fully committed to ‘looking forward’ rather than back at their contentious and damning files that might be, suddenly(!), lost or misplaced, or smoothly sealed and suppressed. That’s the political climate, nefariously yet continuously supported by a line-up of senior government ministers along with NZ Police, IPCA, SFO, the Auditor-general, and yes, the Ombudsmen.

Harvie 1

Doug Harvie will be glad he is now (personally) out of the spotlight.
Like it never happened. Not on his watch. Like it would not in future.
A clipped accounting English.

### ODT Online Wed, 21 Jan 2015
Rugby: Harvie stepping down after getting tough job done
By Steve Hepburn
Doug Harvie will step down from the Otago Rugby Football Union’s board with the sport in a much better position than when he arrived. Harvie, a Dunedin chartered accountant, became chairman of the newly structured board in May, 2012. He was shoulder-tapped to stand and felt he could not say no.
Harvie (57), a former loose forward for the University and Dunedin clubs, said the new board did not want to look back on why it found itself in such a tough position. It was focused on getting the business of rugby back into a good shape in Otago.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image tweaked by whatifdunedin

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DIA regulates what? Not white collar crime, not with govt looking on!

This one’s for Sue Ingram, DIA.

Charity expert Michael Gousmett has labelled the failure to pursue the investigation a cop-out. “To brush it under the carpet, [Internal Affairs] is basically abdicating their responsibility,” Gousmett said. “They tend to pick on the low-hanging fruit and you would have to question what the real purpose of the regulator is.”

### NZ Herald Online 5:00 AM Sunday Dec 14, 2014
Glenn charity probe dumped
By Bevan Hurley – chief reporter
Internal Affairs has abandoned an investigation into alleged irregular payments for a thoroughbred racehorse made by Sir Owen Glenn’s charity. After being under investigation for 18 months, the Glenn Family Foundation Charitable Trust charity was voluntarily deregistered on December 1. The charities regulator launched an investigation after emails appeared to show payments from the Glenn Family Foundation to a bloodstock company and Sir Owen’s personal bank account.
The alleged irregular payments surfaced in an email from former trust chief executive Peter McGlashan to Sir Owen, in which he wrote “large international transfer payments you requested be made to Bloodstocks Ltd and to your account in Sydney”. McGlashan’s email stated the payments “are not typical” of a charitable trust and will “no doubt need explaining” when the charity’s accounts were being prepared.
Charities service general manager Lesa Kalapu defended the length of the investigation, and lack of a resolution, saying there had been delays because Sir Owen lived overseas. “Purely because of the scale, and the international aspect to it, there were delays.” She said there was a “fair level of co-operation”.
Sir Owen told the Herald on Sunday negative media coverage had forced him to leave New Zealand.
The Charities Service came under the Department of Internal Affairs in July 2012.
Read more

DIA Charities Services

DIA Gambling compliance investigations and audits

A lot has happened, a lot of investigation files have been deliberately buried.
The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) has been deficient, dissembling and politically influenced to not pursue prosecution of innumerable persons — recognised pillars of society, professional trustees, lawyers and accountants amongst them — known to be involved in multimillion-dollar white collar crime.
A public disgrace, no less for the successive Ministers concerned.
But don’t worry, no-one is naïve in saying this.

A short reflection, by topics 2012 – 2014 . . . .

Related Posts and Comments:
27.11.14 Sport Otago’s Brimble and ORFU’s Kinley never give up —ugly paperwork exists boys !!
19.9.14 Chief Ombudsman Beverley Wakem to launch post-election inquiry
22.8.14 DCC: Deloitte report referred to the police #Citifleet
5.8.14 Gambling Commission shuts down racing’s Bluegrass pokie trust
27.7.14 NZ journalism, Ean Higgins got it in one #knowwhatwethinkofGerry
13.7.14 Great quote: men
13.5.14 Stuff: Colin Espiner usefully defines Corruption
31.3.14 Audit services to (paying) local bodies #FAIL ● AuditNZ ● OAG ● LynProvost
20.3.14 Delta: Report from Office of the Auditor-General
19.3.14 ORFU: Black-tie dinner, theft or fraud?
15.3.14 Mayoral DISGRACE: DCC won’t ask ORFU to repay $480K bailout
14.3.14 ORFU flush to pay creditors
20.2.14 National-led government rejects state sector reform
15.2.14 Corruption: US mirror to ministerial meddling in DIA business
3.2.14 DIA signed up Intralot amid concerns about bribery and corruption

31.12.13 Martin Legge: Operation Chestnut [DIA’s PR exercise]
30.12.13 DIA insights: Pokie rorts, money-go-rounds, names
8.12.13 SFO budget slashed, how useful were they ?! #politicalinterference
7.12.13 Corruption in NZ Sport: Where has John Key PM been hiding ???
15.10.13 NZRU, ORFU blasphemies etc
11.10.13 New Zealand: Pokie trusts same everywhere #pokierorts
10.10.13 Whistleblowers’ message heard ??! #OtagoRacingClub #pokierorts
26.8.13 New Zealand rorts and sports —dependence on gambling and white collar crime
1.8.13 Politicians keeping DIA/SFO quiet on ORFU and TTCF #pokierorts
15.7.13 Leave Otago white collar criminals ALONE, and other unfairness
29.6.13 Audit NZ and OAG clean bill of health —Suspicious!
7.6.13 Peter Dunne, undone
28.5.13 Carisbrook: Auditor-General #fails Dunedin residents and ratepayers
31.3.13 DIA and Office of the Auditor General stuff up bigtime #pokierorts
15.3.13 ORFU should be subject to full forensic investigation
21.2.13 DIA, SFO investigation #pokierorts
11.2.13 Recognising whistleblowers
7.2.13 DIA not releasing report #ORFU #NZRU #pokierorts
24.1.13 Pike River, Department of Internal Affairs #skippingthebusiness

30.12.12 Internal Affairs is a whole other planet #whitecollarcrime #DIArorts
18.11.12 Martin Legge: DIA audit criticism #pokierorts #coverup
13.11.12 Martin Legge replies to Sunday Star-Times story #DIA #coverup
11.11.12 Department of Internal Affairs #pokierorts #coverup
26.10.12 Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) – CULPABLE #pokierorts
3.10.12 DScene: Russell Garbutt seeks DIA file to Crown Law #pokierorts
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
24.7.14 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
5.6.12 The Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill
● 4.6.12 Questions: ORFU and the Centre of Excellence for Amateur Sport
27.5.12 Again: Oh, Mr Curragh… [emails]
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]
2.5.12 Ratepayers pay for ORFU black-tie dinner at stadium
29.4.12 Department of Internal Affairs, the gambling authority
22.4.12 DIA, OAG, TTCF and Otago Rugby swim below the line
23.3.12 ORFU position

● [3.3.10 Yep, Kereyn Smith thinks like ‘stadium boys’ – see more]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DCC tightens policy + Auditor-general’s facetious comments

The city council’s Whistleblower policy, originally written by Athol Stephens (!!), has recently been updated.

The proposed change came as independent financial consultant Deloitte continued its investigation into an alleged $1 million fraud within the Dunedin City Council’s Citifleet department. (ODT)

### ODT Online Wed, 6 Aug 2014
Council aims to tighten policies
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council is moving to make it easier for whistle-blowers to speak out, but still has “a fair bit of work to do” to tighten other internal policies, senior managers say. The proposed change came as the council’s audit and risk subcommittee, meeting yesterday for just the second time, considered a schedule of 12 internal council policies it was now responsible for overseeing. The policies, ranging from risk management to staff travel and fraud prevention, were designed to promote good governance while protecting the organisation and its staff.
Read more

****

Universally detested (except by a charming coterie of Wellington’s public servants, all living high off the pig’s back), Lyn Provost represents a fat salary-dollar value only. Fully complicit or was that comfortably incompetent, in not getting MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR RORTS and FRAUD stopped across the local authorities of New Zealand. She and her well-paid ‘academic’ staff ask: “Whatever is Crime?” —OHH! “New Zealand’s public sector boasted $240 billion worth of assets and managing them required continuous attention, she said.” (via ODT) …..What attention, steamed up spectacles??!!

Lyn Provost [liberation.typepad.com] 1 BWBugger off, Lyn [Photo: liberation.typepad.com]

****

### ODT Online Wed, 6 Aug 2014
Praise for DCC’s new internal controls
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council’s move to tighten internal controls has been praised by the Office of the Auditor-general, even as the investigation into an alleged $1 million Citifleet fraud continues. The words of encouragement came from Auditor-general Lyn Provost as she addressed a meeting of the council’s new audit and risk subcommittee during a visit to Dunedin yesterday. But, despite the headlines and unanswered questions about why the alleged fraud was not detected, including by auditors, the word “Citifleet” was not uttered yesterday.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Gambling Commission shuts down racing’s Bluegrass pokie trust

According to Barry Stewart on Channel 39 there’s a story in tomorrow’s ODT about: “A pokie trust established to fund the racing industry closed down.”

Why wait?

The Decision – Gambling Commission

Here’s the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) press release
(in which the devils at DIA, racing and pokie industry make Mike O’Brien the fall guy):

Pokie trust obtained licence by deception – Gambling Commission

5 August 2014

The Department of Internal Affairs has welcomed a decision by the Gambling Commission which has found that a Blenheim based gaming machine society, Bluegrass Holdings Limited, obtained its licence to operate pokie machines by deception and that a decision to cancel its Class 4 operator’s licence was warranted. The Commission’s decision, published today, 5 August 2014, comes after a two year protracted and complicated process between Bluegrass Holdings and the Department.

Internal Affairs’ Acting Director of Gambling Compliance, Raj Krishnan, says action was taken to cancel Bluegrass’s licence in July 2012 because of concerns about the suitability of Bluegrass’s operations including the actions of particular key individuals.

“Bluegrass’s deliberate and repeated efforts to deceive the Secretary were intolerable. There is no room for such behaviour in the gambling sector and we are pleased that those involved will now need to move on. We put a lot of effort into this case as we believe ensuring the integrity of the gambling sector is of great importance. Gaming machine societies exist to distribute funds for the community. Millions of dollars are involved and the utmost integrity is required,” says Mr Krishnan.

The Gambling Commission found that Bluegrass provided false and misleading information to Internal Affairs about its funding, those involved in the society and the role of Blenheim man Mike O’Brien in particular. Mike O’Brien is well-known in the harness racing community and is the son of Patrick O’Brien, former chairman of Harness Racing New Zealand and former chair of Bluegrass, which primarily provided grant money to the racing sector. The Commission says documentary evidence indicates Mike O’Brien “covertly exercised influence over the society’s grants and operation….” (Paragraph 66)

The Commission’s decision notes that the efforts to deceive the Department were repeated and took place from the time of Bluegrass’s initial application, through the investigation process and continued during the course of formal proceedings. The deceit stemmed from Bluegrass’s failure to advise the true source of funding to establish the society as well as the role of Mike O’Brien.

“It is unlikely that the Secretary [of Internal Affairs] would have granted the licence application if he had known either that the money had been advanced by Mike O’Brien or that its ultimate source was three racing clubs. The Appellant obtained its licence by providing materially false and misleading information to the Secretary.” (Paragraph 82)

The Commission also found there was evidence that Bluegrass was open to being influenced by its venue operators, contrary to the Gambling Act 2003 and it believed that allowing venue operators to exercise influence over grants was necessary to its survival. (Paragraph 65)

The Commission found the evidence of Bluegrass’s present chair, Blenheim electrician, Peter Gurr not to be sufficiently credible and compelling to remove the doubts as to Bluegrass’s suitability. The Commission says the nature of the deception means it is appropriate for Bluegrass’s licence to be cancelled to “deter other applicants from similar attempts in the future”.

“The circumstances of the case illustrate that detection of this sort of deception is difficult and it is important therefore that the consequences following detection are sufficiently serious to prevent the operation of licensing regime being undermined by the provision of false or misleading information for the advantage of applicants.” (Paragraph 89)

Mr Krishnan says: “This type of behaviour detracts from the good work of many others who distribute pokie grants for the benefit of the community. We’d encourage operators to take close note of this decision and let it serve as a benchmark as to what is expected from them. This type of deceptive conduct and efforts to mislead are also captured in investigations presently being conducted by Internal Affairs, the Serious Fraud Office and Police.”

Bluegrass Holdings Ltd owns 144 gaming machines (pokies) at eight pubs around New Zealand.

“Internal Affairs is currently assessing the behaviour of the people who are responsible for the gaming machines at those venues. We have a duty to the wider community to ensure that venue operators are ethical and uphold the law. Whether those pubs will be allowed to continue operating pokies will depend on whether we are satisfied that all the relevant criteria are met,” says Mr Krishnan.

In accordance with the Commission’s decision the licence cancellation will come into effect on 18 August 2014.

Questions and Answers

1. What happens on 18 August to the pokie machines owned by Bluegrass?
Once Bluegrass’s licence to operate is cancelled on 18 August all its machines are turned off. We’d expect the machines to be sold possibly to another gaming machine society. (See Q5 for further details)

2. Doesn’t this action mean less money will go into the community?
There is no evidence to suggest that overall gambling profits will decrease if the venues in question cease to offer gambling. Those who gamble at these venues are likely to simply gamble elsewhere if the venues lose their licences.

3. What happens to the money already collected from people gambling on the machines?
The Gambling Act (2003) specifies that once a society’s licence is cancelled the remaining net proceeds from its Class 4 gambling must be distributed to authorised purposes in the community within 20 working days, unless a further period is agreed to by the Secretary (for Internal Affairs). Internal Affairs will be working with Bluegrass to ensure the correct distribution takes place.

4. What happens to the organisations which received money from Bluegrass last year?
No organisations which have had their funding applications already accepted by Bluegrass should lose out. Bluegrass was set up to primarily distribute funds to the racing sector. There is nothing to stop the racing clubs (or other community organisations) that received funds from Bluegrass from applying for pokie grants from other gaming machine societies, which are the organisations responsible for distributing the proceeds from gaming machines to the community.

5. What happens to the eight pubs which have Bluegrass machines? Can they transfer to another society?
Yes they can, however this requires a fresh licence application to be made to the Department for each venue, and we will assess each application on a case by case basis. We will assess in detail both the behaviour of the venues and the history of compliance of the societies applying to take the venues on. We have a duty to the wider community to ensure that the operators in the gambling sector are ethical and uphold the law. Each time the Secretary (of Internal Affairs) makes an approval decision in respect of an application by a society to take on a new venue, he must be satisfied of both the venue’s ability and the society’s ability to operate in a compliant fashion. We will not grant a venue application until we have worked through the enquiries we need to make to be sure that these venues and societies are compliant in all respects. It should be noted a recent decision by the Gambling Commission emphasises that the onus is on the applicant society to satisfy Internal Affairs that the relevant criteria are met.

6. Does the action of DIA mean that those pubs will go under?
If a venue is compliant with the law and aligns with a compliant gaming machine society, then there is no reason why is should not continue to be able to operate pokie machines. We should point out that pubs host pokie machines voluntarily, and when they do, they are only able to recover the cost associated with hosting those machines, up to a limit. The Gambling Act did not intend for pubs to make profits from hosting pokie machines. Therefore, if these venues are dependent on the money from pokies for their survival something is wrong with the underlying viability of the venue

7. Does this action mean that those involved in Bluegrass will never be able to operate in the pokie sector again?
Yes, it is our intention to ensure the integrity of a sector which generates approximately $800 million per annum in turnover. Given the large amount of funding generated by gambling the highest levels of sector integrity are vital to make sure that the community doesn’t lose out on much needed grant money, and that those in the sector, who comply and do the right thing, aren’t undermined. Our recent actions demonstrate that we will detect unlawful and dishonest behaviour, and take whatever action necessary to reduce and eliminate non-compliance.

Media contact:
Sue Ingram, Communications
Department of Internal Affairs Te Tari Taiwhenua
Direct Dial: +64 4 494 0584 | Mobile: +64 27 541 4696

[ends]

DIA Link

Related Posts and Comments:
11.10.13 New Zealand: Pokie trusts same everywhere #pokierorts
31.3.13 DIA and Office of the Auditor General stuff up bigtime #pokierorts
21.2.13 DIA, SFO investigation #pokierorts
18.11.12 Martin Legge: DIA audit criticism #pokierorts #coverup
28.7.12 Pokie fraud: ODT fails to notice own backyard
15.7.12 Martin Legge responds to media stories on Murray Acklin, TTCF and DIA

█ For more, enter the terms *dia*, *pokies*, *pokie trusts*, *orfu*, *nzru*, *gambling commission* and *ttcf* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Martin Legge: Operation Chestnut [DIA’s PR exercise]

Received from Martin Legge.
Tuesday, 31 December 2013 10:54 p.m.

The relaunch of “Operation Chestnut” is nothing more than an expensive distraction for the masses – making them believe that the DIA and its Minister, Chris Tremain, are doing a great job. No small coincidence the operation was announced (Jan 2013) contemporaneous with the Government announcement that they did not intend changing the current pokie model despite the systemic corruption and the ongoing rorts. If you don’t agree with me then consider this:

1. “Operation Chestnut” was started way back in 2008 and the investigator submitted his report to Senior Management in 2008-09. The same management includes Debbie Despard, who now fronts the relaunch of Operation Chestnut but note she failed to tell media that the operation started in 2008 and she has been sitting on the report for five years watching as tens of millions flowed to people to whom it should not have.

2. DIA’s primary statutory function requires they properly regulate all the entities which they are solely responsible for licencing and that includes the pokie trusts, their managment and also the owners/operators of pokie bars. Current gambling law puts a clear statutory obligation on the DIA that they must be satisfied with these entities before they can lawfully issue a gambling licence. The legal obligation was put in place to ensure they did their job and prevented harm, and ensured the grant distribution process was fair to all grant applicants. That obligation does not require the resources of the Serious Fraud Office or the standard of proof required in a criminal case, just a balance of probabilities. Under these circumstances the public could now rightly demand why all of the issues and recommendations identified in Bermingham’s report of 2009 were not immediately addressed first and foremost with the pokie trusts named and why now after five years the taxpayer is funding a relaunch or rehash of an operation which until now was ignored by DIA.

3. In 2010, during the four to five years of DIA inaction, DIA seek and receive documents and testimony from me and others that not only linked ORFU and Harness Racing (Mike O’Brien) to three South Auckland bars but of far greater significance was the fact that the evidence implicated the involvement of one of NZ’s biggest trusts, TTCF Inc, now TTCF Ltd, and how its trustees were complicit to such arrangements and were knowingly approving millions of dollars of grants to both ORFU and Racing between 2005 and 2011.

The DIA, OAG, and now the SFO have all given me different stories about why TTCF has been excluded from Operation Chestnut but it is blatantly obvious to me and others that to include O’Brien’s relationship with ORFU and those three Jokers bars would mean including TTCF. It would open up a can of worms with the Government because, as we know, TTCF trustees are very very well connected and they have politicians who will pick up the phone.

Quite frankly, as an ex Police Prosecutor and Detective Sergeant, I am appalled at this situation. Operation Chestnut has become nothing more than an exercise in regaining the public confidence in DIA, its Minister and the gambling sector by taking scalps that fall outside their primary responsibility. Evidence implicating the pokie trusts and their trustees is being ignored or suppressed to take the scalp of someone who essentially sits outside the industry. Mike O’Brien would not have been able to get one cent, let alone the $30 million that DIA/SFO allege has been gained, if it weren’t for the primary offenders, the persons with the ultimate public responsibility, that approved that money back to those interests. Their part in the offending is far more serious than anyone outside the industry.

Pokie trust boards are stacked with high profile well connected personalities all of whom receive a payment of around $50-100k per annum for the privilege. The NZCT board includes ex Wellington Mayor, Kerry Prendergast, who is also an advisor to the Auditor General. TTCF’s Chairman is Ross Clow who is now with Auckland City Council, and then there is Warren Flaunty, NZ’s most elected man. They are the ones who approved these grants and yet they are barely mentioned, quoted or identified by media, let alone interviewed by DIA or SFO.

Last but not least, another conscientious DIA investigator recently contacted me to advise that they saw the full NZRU report into the demise of the ORFU that was supplied to the DIA. They have confirmed that it contains considerable detail of ORFU’s ownership of the Jokers bars and their relationship with Mike O’Brien and TTCF. The report was provided to DIA simply because NZRU wanted to judge the risk of DIA legal action before pumping funds into ORFU. Little wonder DIA continue to withhold that report.

[ends]

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30.12.13 DIA insights: Pokie rorts, money-go-rounds, names

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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