Former softball club president sentenced for manipulation and misuse of grant funding

Lee Keating, a former president and club captain of Kapiti Softball Club was today sentenced for the manipulation and misuse of grant funding from several gaming machine societies. Photo / iStock
Lee Keating, a former president and club captain of Kapiti Softball Club was today sentenced for the manipulation and misuse of grant funding from several gaming machine societies. Photo / iStock

A former softball club president has been sentenced to seven months home detention after misusing tens of thousands of dollars of fraudulently obtained grant funding.

Lee Keating, a former president and club captain of Kapiti Softball Club was today sentenced for the manipulation and misuse of grant funding from several gaming machine societies.

Keating pleaded guilty and was convicted on six charges under the Crimes Act involving dishonestly using a document and theft in a trusted relationship.

The Department of Internal Affairs told the Porirua District Court that between 2007 and 2011 Keating dishonestly obtained grant funding for his softball club and the Central Regional Baseball Association.

The Association was established by Keating and a colleague but it was abandoned before it was up and running.

Once the grant money was received, Keating dishonestly accounted for the way in which it was spent.

The clubs received a combined total of $122,000 in fraudulently obtained grants, of which $41,917.50 remain unaccounted for.

Keating used $14,530.67 of the grant funding for his own personal benefit, however, because of existing significant debts, he was not ordered to make any repayments.

The DIA's director for gambling compliance, Gareth Bostock, said that non-casino gaming machines raise more than $250 million a year for the community.

"It is fundamental to the integrity of the grants process that documents supplied to gambling trusts are true and correct," Mr Bostock said.

"The misappropriation of funds is a serious offence and in effect is a crime against the community because grant funding is taken away from its intended community purpose."

Judge Arthur Tompkins considered the loss to other potential grant recipients was particularly problematic, as was the sheer length of time, and the relative sophistication, of Keating's fraudulent activities.

Special conditions were imposed on Keating to prevent him taking on any work, volunteering, or associating with sports or social clubs without permission from the probation service.

- NZ Herald

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