The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation

 

Former Maori All Black convicted for theft


25 January 2013

Former Maori All Black, Lindsay Raki has been convicted on 11 counts of theft totalling over $300,000.

The charges relate to the theft of proceeds from pokie machine grants to the community, funds that were intended for two South Auckland organisations to promote youth rugby.

Mr Raki was charged following an investigation by the Department of Internal Affairs into the distribution of pokie machine grants intended for the Manurewa High School Rugby Academy (MHSRA) and the Counties Manukau Youth Development Inc (CYMD).

Internal Affairs’ Gambling Compliance Director, Debbie Despard welcomed the conviction:
“The money involved in this case should have been distributed to the community, in particular to young people playing the national game of rugby. Every dollar that is misappropriated from pokie machine grants is a dollar that is not available to the community.

“We are very pleased that our investigation has led to Mr Raki being held accountable for theft from the community. 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 former Maori All Black is described by the judge as: “A dishonest witness who has in part woven an account that might accord with some legitimate documentation he can produce, and then created documents after the event to fill in the gaps and back up his story.”

Mr Raki, a qualified accountant held a position of trust as the Academy’s financial controller.

The Auckland District Court heard that between 2006 and 2008 both the Rugby Academy and the CMYD applied to a number of gambling societies for grant funding.

The court was told that the money was paid into one or other of Mr Raki’s personal accounts and used by him personally.

Releasing the decision on Tuesday 22 January Judge Emma Aitken told the court that she was satisfied that Mr Raki had dishonestly taken the money with the intention to permanently deprive the two organisations of the funds.

Judge Aitken said she rejected Mr Raki’s evidence and the witnesses he called as untrue or unreliable.

Mr Raki, who had denied the charges, will appear on 16 April 2013 for sentencing.

Media contact:
Sue Ingram
Direct Dial: 04 494 0584 / Mobile: 027 541 4696
Email: sue.ingram@dia.govt.nz