Press Release – Department Of Internal Affairs
Former Maori All Black Lindsay Raki has been sentenced in the Auckland District Court to two years nine months imprisonment for what Judge Emma Aitken said was serious fraud — 11 counts of theft totalling over $300,000 of pokie grant money.
And a promoter of Cook Island culture, Jacob Samson, received seven months home detention after pleading guilty in the Manukau District Court to charges involving grant applications for more than $200,000 of pokie money.
Raki’s conviction followed a Department of Internal Affairs’ investigation into the distribution of pokie machine grants intended for the Manurewa High School Rugby Academy (MHSRA) and the Counties Manukau Youth Development Inc (CYMD). A qualified accountant, Raki held a position of trust as the Academy’s financial controller.
Between 2006 and 2008 both the Rugby Academy and the CMYD applied to a number of gambling societies for grant funding. The money was paid into one or other of Mr Raki’s personal accounts and used by him personally.
Samson pleaded guilty to:
• three charges of obtaining by deception under s 240 Crimes Act
• 11 charges of altering a document under s 258 Crimes Act and
A Department investigation revealed that over six years Samson had altered receipts and bank statements for the purpose of obtaining grants from 11 societies which distribute money lost on pokie machines to community groups. He had sought the grants in his capacity as chairman of Drums of the Pacific Trust and the Cook Islands Kia Orana Akapuanga Trust.
Internal Affairs Gambling Compliance Director, Debbie Despard: “We are very pleased that our investigations have led to people being held accountable for money sought on behalf of community groups.
“The Department works to ensure the integrity of gambling in New Zealand, and that means making sure that pokie money, which belongs to the community, is distributed to the community.
The cases also demonstrate that the Department will investigate alleged non-compliance with the Gambling Act and will not hesitate to call serious offenders to account.”