McGahan was this morni' />
Former Kiwis rugby league captain Hugh McGahan says the part he played in a $2 million pokie scam was "naive and foolish".
McGahan was this morning sentenced to 275 hours of community work for his part in the scam, which also involved former team-mate Brent Todd and former All Black Doug Rollerson.
McGahan pleaded guilty in Auckland District Court last month to four charges of conspiracy to use a document to defraud the North Harbour Rugby Union and Touch NZ.
At the court this morning, Judge Nicola Mathers said McGahan's offending was at the lower end of the scale and much less blameworthy than that of Todd and his business partner Stanley Wijeyaratne.
"I am satisfied your offending has been brought home to you. I acknowledge you are remorseful," she said.
McGahan's lawyer, Frank Godinet, spoke of his client's "cataclysmic fall from grace".
No amount of publicity at the peak of McGahan's sporting career could make up for the publicity he had received over the case, Mr Godinet said.
Speaking outside the court, McGahan said: "I was naive and foolish, and I accept that I broke the law. I came here today to face the full consequences of my actions.
"As outlined in the court, I revealed my stupidity by signing invoices for people without checking properly.
"I took their word that the invoices were legitimate. I know that my actions were unlawful...that's a burden that I'll carry today and forever."
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO), which brought the charges, had said the fraud was masterminded by Todd and Wijeyaratne, who operated a number of bars in Auckland associated with gaming trusts.
It involved an elaborate scheme of false invoices and accounts to defraud sports organisations out of hundreds of thousands of dollars from pokie proceeds.
Todd was sentenced to 12 months home detention and 190 hours community service after pleading guilty to four fraud charges, as did co-accused Wijeyaratne.
Todd had already paid back $300,000.
Wijeyaratne was fined $50,000 and told to make $400,000 reparations.
Rollerson was convicted and freed without penalty. He had earlier pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud.
Former Touch NZ chief executive Alistair Arnott, Geoffrey Thompson and a woman with name suppression have denied charges and will defend them at a six-week trial in Auckland District Court beginning in July.
- NZPA and NZHERALD STAFF