A Palmerston North man appeared in court on a match-fixing charge in relation to a police investigation into the harness racing industry.

Brent Stephen Wall, 47, made a brief appearance in the Palmerston North District Court this morning, where he pleaded not guilty to deception by match-fixing.

Court documents allege that between May 18 and 22 he caused a loss of more than $1000 to other people by assisting a horse named Sportscaster to win with the intention of influencing the betting outcome.

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Wall is jointly charged with two other people of committing the crime by manipulating the overall result of race six at the Manawatu Harness Racing Club Incorporated Race Meeting on May 22.

The charge carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.

Wall has been remanded on bail to a case review hearing in October.

He is one of a group of people charged following a major police probe into alleged race-fixing and drugs in the harness racing industry.

Others due in court today

Meanwhile other top New Zealand harness racing figures are expected to appear in a Christchurch court today after a long-running police probe into alleged race-fixing and drugs.

A total of 11 people have been charged over Operation Inca – an 18-month investigation by the National Organised Crime Group that culminated with raids on multiple stables and properties across Canterbury, Invercargill and Manawatu last week.

The scandal has rocked the tight-knit sport and embroiled some of its leading names.

Today, five men — aged 34, 40, 41, 44, and 71 — are due to appear on match-fixing charges.


A 41-year-old woman is expected to face two counts of supplying Class B drugs.