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New Zealand Pokies Scam Evidence Found in Car

23 April 2004

NEW ZEALAND – As reported by the New Zealand News : "Important documents were found behind bags of rubbish in the car boot of an Auckland financial director accused of conspiring to defraud charitable trusts in an alleged pokies racket.

"The Auckland District Court heard yesterday that Serious Fraud Office investigators found evidence of 'contrived and artificial' advertising costs in the car of Stewart Thomas Romley.

"Romley, 61, was in court for a depositions hearing with three other Auckland men.

"They face fraud charges over their involvement in the Helicopter Trust, ChildFlight Trust and the pub charity GoldTimes Foundation.

"…Nicholas Davidson QC, representing the SFO, told the court the men dishonestly diverted large amounts of money from pub gaming machine takings in the guise of advertising costs.

"They gave grants through GoldTimes, which owned gaming machines, to the two charitable trusts, which returned about half the amount to the pubs for 'so-called' advertising payments.

"…When the SFO secured a search warrant for Romley's Milford home, he was asked to hand over the keys to two vehicles.

"…In the boot of one were plastic shopping bags full of rubbish. Behind them were a small bundle of documents and a folder containing more documents.

"…The victims of the fraud were the two trusts and any other person or body entitled to apply for and be granted gaming machine proceeds from GoldTimes…"

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