There are currently two cases before the courts related to allegations of pokie funding fraud.
Last week, in Manukau District Court, eight people and two companies appeared to answer dishonesty related charges filed by the Department. These charges relate to the misuse of grant funding, where grants had been received from four different Class 4 societies. There is no suggestion that the societies were involved in these offences. A six-week trial for this case is due to start on 30 January 2018 in Manukau District Court.
And at the High Court in Wellington, the trial following from Operation Chestnut continues where four people have been charged over an alleged multi-million dollar pokie funding fraud. In this case, the allegations include that the defendants deceived the Department. This case resulted from an investigation involving the Serious Fraud Office, the Department and the Organised and Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand.
The Department would like to thank those who assisted in these cases. Where there is highly culpable wrongdoing, our regulatory response is to take proportionate action. However, to do this we need actionable evidence and this will often require support from the sector to ensure we have relevant information.
It is only with this kind of support and collaboration that we can improve the transparency in the sector and achieve our vision for the Class 4 sector which is to regulate for a safe, transparent and trusted gambling sector that benefits communities.