Day At The Track

Serious Fraud Office investigation

02:12 PM 29 May 2015 NZST
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Mike O'Brien, a harness racing trainer and son of Pat O'Brien
Mike O'Brien, a harness racing trainer and son of Pat O'Brien

Four men charged over gaming fraud to the tune of $30 million after a Serious Fraud Office investigation have been remanded for two months. Former chair of Harness Racing New Zealand Patrick O'Brien, his son Mike O'Brien and hospitality consultant Paul Max face 32 charge of obtaining benefits by deception.

A fourth man, whose name was suppressed, pleaded not guilty and asked for a judge alone trial on two charges of obtaining by deception.

Defence lawyer Bruce Squire QC for Michael O'Brien asked for the remand without plea and without electing trial.  He said there were several matters that still needed to be sorted out, including the defence being given all briefs of evidence.

The Serious Fraud Office laid charges after an investigation involving police and the Internal Affairs Department into gaming grants made by the New Zealand Community Trust, Infinity and Bluegrass Trusts since 2006.

About 20 venues including five pubs in Blenheim, five properties in Wellington, two in Hawke's Bay and one in Masterton were investigated.

Wellington District Court judge Arthur Tompkins remanded them all on bail until July.

Stuff.co.nz

 

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