Man Sentenced For Pokies Grant Fraud

In New Zealand, a large portion of the profits generated by poker machines are used to fund charities across the country. However, one individual has taken advantage of the system, claiming more than $600 000 worth of pokies grants that he was not entitled to.

Noel Henry Gibbons worked for the Manukau Bowl for three years starting in 2006. During that time, the organization had invested in a company which had a stake in pokies pubs. Gibbons applied for over $600 000 worth of grants for the pokies in those pubs, using the money to benefit the bowling green and to pay off loans used to purchase the pubs in the first place. He admitted to using forged documents to claim the funds, pleading guilty to the crime.

Gibbons appeared in court this week for his involvement in the scam. A 79-year-old man, he was sentenced to just 6 months of community service – due to his age and declining health. However, the judge wanted to make an example out of him, so as to discourage other individuals from trying similar scams.

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