A former cop and Armed Offenders Squad member has admitted he stole more than $4000 from the Tauranga Police AOS Social Club account while he was club treasurer.

Ex-cop Matthew Craig Elliott, 42, who appeared in the Tauranga District Court on Friday, pleaded guilty through his lawyer to a charge of theft by a person in a special relationship.

The charge attracts a maximum penalty of seven years' prison.

Elliott had used the club's Eftpos card "like it was his personal bank account" the police prosecutor told the court.


Despite his admission, Elliott is trying to avoid criminal conviction.

No conviction has yet been entered by Judge David Cameron after Elliott's lawyer Bill Nabney said he would be an applying for a discharge without conviction for his client.

Nabney told Judge Cameron that he would file written submissions in support of the application and Elliott would be able to pay the $1853 reparation sought by police.

Non-sworn police prosecutor Amy Alcock said police would also be filing written submissions in response to the discharge application.

Alcock, who read the summary of facts of the court, said Elliott was a former sworn police officer and former Tauranga Armed Offenders Squad officer. He was also treasurer of the Tauranga Police AOS Social Club between 2007 and 2015.

Members made regular direct credits into the club's ANZ account and funds were used to pay for items such as annual dinners and buying flowers in the event of bereavements.

As treasurer Elliott had access to the club's bank account Eftpos card.

From May 5, 2011, to May 1, 2015, he used the account "like it was his own personal bank account" and made a large number of unauthorised transactions, Alcock said.


That included 32 Eftpos purchases at an Otumoetai bar totalling $982.50.

Elliott also made cash withdrawals and used the card to pay for a large number of other items such as takeaways, coffees, sushi, golf fees, sandblasting, taxi fares and a haircut.

The transactions totalled $4466 but he paid back extra contributions to the club's bank account in the amount of $2612.58, leaving a shortfall of $1853.42.

In explanation, Elliott told the officer-in-charge of the investigation that his actions had been poor accounting rather than a deliberate attempt to steal funds.

Judge David Cameron remanded Elliott at large for sentencing on June 1.