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Sentencing for five guilty of misuse of grant funding

Four defendants and one incorporated society found guilty last December for 21 charges of criminal offences were sentenced in the Manukau District Court last week.

“As the Gambling regulator we ensure that money from gambling that is earmarked for community benefit is managed and distributed fairly and transparently,” says Charlotte Stanley, Deputy Director Gambling.

“This sentencing sends a clear message that we will prosecute individuals who fail to comply with the rules around community grants.”

The five convicted were Rakesh Chand, Richard Kumar, Pradeep Chand, Vijendra Prasad, Manukau Sanatan incorporated. Their sentences include periods of home and community detentions and reparations ranging from $500 to around $23,570, the highest fine of the five sentences.

The offences relate to the misuse of grant funding from gambling grants derived from Class 4 gambling [“pokie machines”] and follows a robust investigation by the Department of Internal Affairs’ Gambling Group.

Through the Department’s investigation it was found that the convicted group had committed fraud by using false quotes, failed to use grant money for its approved purpose, and failed to clearly account for where grant money was being spent.

“We are here to ensure the community gets the maximum benefit from gambling by detecting and deterring fraudulent activity in gambling related fundraising,” says Charlotte Stanley.

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