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Administrator siphoned pokie profits

Last updated 13:25 26/02/2014

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A Manukau gambling trust administrator who paid out $1.7 million in gambling machine payments to another of his companies has been sentenced to nine months' home detention.

Daniel Joseph Clifford, 58, pleaded guilty to a representative charge of dishonestly using a document.

Clifford was the administrator of pokies community funds distributor Actives Charitable Trust between 2006 and 2009 when it paid out $1.72m in "loan repayments" to School Ltd, a company of which Clifford was the sole director.

That company has since been struck off.

Clifford was also the initial trustee of the Counties Manukau Institute of Rugby and Sport (CMIRS).

He pleaded guilty to manipulating CMIRS and Actives records to conceal non-distribution of the money that should have been paid to the community.

Gambling law dictates that 37.12 per cent of pokies profits should be distributed to the community by gambling trusts.

Department of Internal Affairs director of gambling compliance Debbie Despard said she was "pleased that we have been able to hold Mr Clifford accountable".

Actives Charitable Trust had been wound up so the court could not order reparations from the trust.

Internal Affairs said in a statement that it was "difficult to trace the extent to which Clifford personally benefited from the various transactions", but reparation of the $1.7m was sought.

Clifford donated $5000 to each of four charities which had unsuccessfully applied for funds from Actives in 2007/2008, the department said.

Clifford was sentenced to nine months' home detention and ordered to perform 200 hours' community service.

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- Fairfax Media

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