A former All Black known for his clean living and quiet demeanour is behind bars after admitting he ripped off family and friends to the tune of nearly $4 million.

Steven Pokere, 47, played 18 tests for the All Blacks between 1981 and 1985, and was famed for his elusive attacking play and solid defence.

He offered no defence in the Auckland District Court to Serious Fraud Office allegations that the company he ran with three others, FF Traders, defrauded 36 investors of $3.9 million.

Pokere pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud and was sentenced last month to 2 1/2 years in prison. But his guilty plea and sentence had been suppressed by Judge Roderick Joyce until yesterday, when the jury returned verdicts for two co-accused.

Pokere's former teammate, Andy Haden, told TVNZ that he was stunned by the conviction.

"Steven Pokere was a mild, nice ... well-mannered young boy. One of the things with living in the public eye, the tarnish is forever."

Pokere, a devout Mormon, set up FF Traders with Donna-Marie Hera Frost, 45, Tina Marie West, 46, and Phyllis Erena Mareroa, 48, in January 2000. Frost, West and Mareroa will be sentenced on November 25 on a range of fraud-related charges.

The four started FF Traders after the death of Pokere's friend and Donna Frost's brother, Fatu Frost, who had a heart attack in 1999.

Fatu Frost had run a foreign exchange trading company in which investors had lost money.

At Frost's wake, Pokere met West, who had been flatting in Australia with Donna Frost and was good friends with Mareroa.

Together the four decided to help out those who had invested with Fatu Frost by setting up their own investment business, with Pokere to look after the accounting.

The prosecutor for the SFO, Philip Morgan, QC, told the jury that while their motives might have been good, when it started to fall apart the four resorted to deceit, trickery and false pretences to keep up the appearance of a successful company.

Between November 1999 and July 2002, the four collected $3.9 million from investors while only $924,650 was ever invested.

The money went to risky investments being run by more sophisticated fraudsters overseas.

Investors were promised returns of up to 100 per cent over four months, and assured their money was safe. "Within a matter of months of incorporation of FF Traders, any investments FF Traders made turned sour and all investments were lost," says the summary of facts for Pokere.

But letters with the tagline "as we prepare for a prosperous future, hang on to your hats because you're about to enjoy the ride of your life" still went out to investors.

There was an expenses-paid trip to the Gold Coast for 14 investors in about August 2000 to celebrate how well the company was doing.

But the reality was that by November 2000 Pokere and his co-directors needed to come up with $2 million for the $1 million they had already taken from investors.

More money was collected from family, friends and associates, including fellow Mormons, and put into what the Crown called "crazy schemes" in the hope of rectifying the situation.

June Orrell lost $10,000 after Pokere, a friend of her son, offered to help her when she told him she had lost $22,000 through Fatu Frost.

"It's hard - he took everyone to the cleaners. He's even taken all the Mormons to the cleaners ... "