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Pokie money to be repaid

6 November 2007

Pokie money to be repaid

A 49-year-old Taumarunui company director has been ordered to repay almost $44,000 to a gaming machine society after falsely claiming for work carried out at the Taumarunui Alpine Inn.

Judge Merelina Burnett in the Hamilton District Court (Nov 2) convicted Garry Peter Crossman and sentenced him to 200 hours’ community service after he pleaded not guilty to four charges of dishonestly using a document.

The Crown prosecutor told the court that gaming machine proceeds must be banked within five working days of machine meters being read. Crossman had a history of late banking which continued after the Department of Internal Affairs proposed to cancel the venue licence held by Scottwood Trust. After Crossman failed to bank almost $10,000 in August 2006 Scottwood disconnected the machines with a further $20,000 owing. The licence was cancelled on October 20.

Another society, Caversham Foundation Ltd, was negotiating to take on the gaming machine operation when Crossman obtained money from Caversham in early October with false invoices. He then used the proceeds to repay Scottwood and other debts.

Judge Burnett dismissed three other charges of theft by a person in special relationship.

Internal Affairs’ Director of Gambling Compliance, Mike Hill, said there are strict rules under the Gambling Act 2003 for the handling of gaming machine money.

“The community is the ultimate beneficiary of pokie funds through grants from the trusts and it is the community which loses out when the system is abused,” Mike Hill said.

ENDS

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