The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

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Five found guilty for the misuse of grant funding


19 December 2018

Yesterday, in the Manukau District Court, a Jury found four individuals and one incorporated society
guilty of 21 charges of criminal offences relating to the misuse of funding from gambling grants
derived from Class 4 gambling (‘pokie machines’).

The offending was carried out by Rakesh Chand, Pradeep Chand, Richard Kumar and Vijendra Prasad,
who had obtained grants on behalf of Shree Sanatan Dharam Prathindhi Sabha Manukau Branch
Incorporated and Tavua Cultural and Sports Club Incorporated.

The charges relate to 11 separate grants where the Department of Internal Affairs’ Gambling Group
identified the defendants had submitted false quotes in order to obtain grant funding, failed to
spend grant funding on authorised purposes, failed to return grant funding not spent on authorised
purposes, and failed to properly account for the way grant funding was spent, including submitting
false invoices and receipts.

The Department’s Director of Gambling, Chris Thornborough, says “The Gambling Group works hard
to uphold the integrity of the grant application system.

“We aim to ensure the community gets the maximum benefit from gambling by detecting and
deterring fraudulent activity in gambling-related fundraising”.

Rakesh Chand and Pradeep Chand, were found guilty of obstruction offences, after asking individuals
they knew would be questioned in the Department’s investigation to lie.

“These defendants misused community money. As regulators we will not accept this type of
behaviour,” said Mr Thornborough.

“These convictions show that our team of regulators, investigators, and solicitors can, and will, catch
and prosecute individuals who fail to comply with rules around community grants, or attempt to
falsify records as these grant recipients did”.

The defendants have been remanded on bail to sentencing on 14 March 2019 at the Manukau
District Court.

Contact:
Media Desk Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs
Direct Dial: +64 27 535 8639 45
Pipitea Street | PO Box 805, Wellington 6140, New Zealand
www.dia.govt.nz