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Gambling trust administrator sentenced

Gambling trust administrator sentenced

A former gambling trust administrator was sentenced to nine months home detention and 200 hours community work in the Manukau District Court yesterday.

Daniel Joseph Clifford, 58, company director, pleaded guilty to a representative charge, under the Crimes Act 1961, of dishonestly using a document.

Clifford was administrator of two former gambling societies, Actives Charitable Trust which later became Beneficial Charitable Trust.  He was also the initial trustee of the Counties Manukau Institute of Rugby and Sport (CMIRS), established to support amateur sporting groups and provide sporting and recreational facilities.
According to an agreed Summary of Facts, Clifford manipulated the financial affairs of both CMIRS and Actives to conceal Actives’ inability to distribute the legally required minimum of 37.12 per cent of net gaming machine proceeds to the community.  Actives also paid out $1.729 million in “loan repayments” to School Ltd, a company of which Clifford was sole director.  It was set up to promote school-related projects including sport, education and the Institute and has since been struck off the Companies Register.

The Department of Internal Affairs said it was difficult to trace the extent to which Clifford personally benefitted from the various transactions but it sought reparation of the $1.729 million “loan repayments”, which represented Actives’ gaming machine proceeds that should have gone to the community. 

The court could not order reparation as the Actives Charitable Trust had been wound up but Clifford donated $5000 to each of four charities which had unsuccessfully applied for funds from Actives in 2007/2008.

The Department’s Director of Gambling Compliance, Debbie Despard, welcomed the result:
“The court has recognised that the community lost out through Daniel Clifford’s actions. Gambling societies hold gaming machine proceeds in trust for distribution to the community and we are pleased that we have been able to hold Mr Clifford accountable.”

ENDS

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