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Sitting in the dock, listening to the effects his errors had had on his family: that was the moment Doug Rollerson realised the full impact of his crime.

The former All Black was convicted on Wednesday for signing false invoices that allowed the North Harbour Rugby Union to receive funds from poker machines while two men - former league star Brent Todd and Stanley Wijeyaratne - received a "kickback" worth almost $1 million.

He was immediately discharged, giving him the freedom to reflect on the damage he had done to himself and those he loves. The case, and associated deals have left him "destitute", the court heard.

In an interview with the Weekend Herald, Rollerson said he had lost an inheritance and spent $100,000 that should have gone towards his three children's education on defending his case.

He admits the realisation of what he had done to his family was his worst moment "by miles".

"Really that was my kids' money. I should have spent that on my kids, not defending something."

Although his legal bills were extensive most of the financial harm wasn't directly linked to the poker machine affair.

"When I left the union I was on top of the world... I'd worked hard and made good investments but then all this hit the fan..."

"When you're under pressure and you don't sleep you start making some dumb decisions, and I made a couple of very bad investments."

When those investments soured, Rollerson was left as the guarantor of several expensive loans - in one week alone he paid $1.4 million to the bank. Other investments that were lost included shares, two houses and a boat.

He said the poker scheme wasn't "cloak and dagger stuff" but it quickly took on a "life of its own".

He was reluctant to talk more about it as four other people charged in relation to it are facing a jury trial later this year.

At his sentencing, Justice Rhys Harrison said he had been "naive" and it would have been beyond his "wildest dreams" that he would ever have found himself in the situation he was in.

Rollerson: "It was one of the most powerful things he said."

It was a far cry from his glory days as an All Black which he can rattle of many memories - from the infamous "flour bomb" test at Eden Park against South Africa to leading the New Zealand University team to victory over the touring British Lions.

The former first five-eighth said yesterday that he was looking forward to moving on.

"Looking back on it I would no more do it than fly to the moon. It's been ridiculous.

I accept the result 100 per cent. I accept that it was wrong - we shouldn't have done it and I'm sorry for it."

He never personally profited from the scheme but Rollerson has been counting the cost ever since - although he makes it clear he isn't speaking about his experience to gain any sympathy.

This week, for the first time in nearly five years, Rollerson has been able to sleep through an entire night without waking up. "I normally get up for an hour at least with my mind racing. I have to get over it. What's happened has happened."

The chief prosecutor for the Serious Fraud Office, Anita Killeen, said talks would be held with the Crown law office to determine if an appeal against Rollerson's discharge with conviction was possible.