Poker machines are more than a fun form of entertainment for adults. They provide a valuable service to the local community, as a large portion of their profits is used to fund healthcare, arts and education programs. So, when money is stolen from a pokies trust, the theft is stealing from the general public.
That’s exactly what Shane Alvin Cosgrave did when he stole $365 000 from the South Auckland Community trust. Rather than seeing the money go to benefit local artists, athletes and children, he lined his pockets with the cash. He paid for his pub, car and gave himself personal loans with the funds.
“Money from gaming machines needs to go back to the community,” says Debbie Despard of Internal Affairs “If you’re in the gaming industry and you’re contemplating doing other things with that money, we will hold you to account.”
Originally, he pleaded not-guilty to the crime, but changed his strategy three days into his trial. Now, Cosgrave is facing sever years jail time, and the Department of Internal Affairs is confident that he will be locked away for his crime. His sentencing will also deter other industry insiders from attempting any similar crimes.
Cosgrave faces sentencing in September. Until then, we will keep you updated with further developments in the case.