Richie in no rush to repay Queenstown Sevens committee

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Convicted fraudster Richie Anderson will be 99 by the time he has repaid Sevens with Altitude, if the charity’s financial statements are to be believed. 

Queenstowner Anderson, a former police detective, admitted ripping off $64,000 from the national rugby sevens tournament. He was sentenced in September 2012 and Judge Michael Turner gave him two years to pay back $48,601 reparation in full. 

Until now, Anderson has refused to say how much he’s paid back. 

But an annual report for Sevens with Altitude, the incorporated society which runs the tournament, appears to show he’s been paying at less than $100 a month. 

The accounts show Anderson, 53, still owed the committee $47,021 as at March 31 this year. 

Financial statements show between September 2012 and March 2013 Anderson repaid $440 – an average of $73.30 per month – and in the 12 months to March 31, 2014 he had repaid $1140, an average of $95 per month. 

The $1580 repaid is 3.25 per cent of the total reparation. At that rate, it will take Anderson more than 46 years to finally repay the money. 

Anderson says he is not paying Sevens with Altitude, he is paying the Ministry of Justice. 

He does not dispute the repayment figure contained in the charity’s financial statements. 

“If you believe the accountant, well good on you. 

“I am paying back the justice department and it’s up to the justice department to give their amounts as they see fit – so you need to do some more homework. 

“I intend to pay it back – how I intend to pay it back is something I’ll talk to the judge over, if need be, but I’m not going to give you any more information.” 

Asked if he’d like to make comment on the statements, he says: “No mate, you’ve done enough damage to my family this week and to me”. 

A ministry spokesman says when reparation is ordered payments are collected and passed, in full, to victims. 

Late yesterday, the spokesman confirmed some of Anderson’s assets have been seized and the proceeds of any sale will go towards outstanding reparation. 

Anderson was ordered to pay $20 a week initially, but lump sum payments were ordered following the sale of his personal vehicle; and if necessary the realisation of land in a family trust and funds from his interest in a business for sale at the time. 

Last Friday, a Ministry of Justice spokesman said the reparation deadline had not been met and the Queenstown District Court was “considering further action”. 

Anderson disputed that, claiming he was told he had until September 18 to make the full payment. 

However, on Monday the ministry stood by its initial statement. 

Anderson was involved with the Sevens committee since its inception, organiser of the annual Pub Charity Rugby Sevens tournament, of which Otago Country rugby, Otago Rugby and Wakatipu and Arrowtown rugby clubs were beneficiaries. 

Arrowtown Rugby Club president Simon Spark says Anderson had tried to reconnect with the club, but the committee decided it would be better for him not to be involved until he had sorted the reparation. 

“I suppose people are forgiving and bygones would have been bygones, but now it just drags it all back to the surface again. 

“It’s hard for him to get traction at the moment … he needs to front up and do what he’s instructed to do, as all people [must] when they go before the court.” 

Spark says, to his knowledge, the only group out of pocket was the Sevens committee and the outstanding money would have likely put pressure on its finances. 

“That’s a lot of money to have [outstanding]. 

“They’ve budgeted to have that money returned within two years, which it hasn’t been – it puts pressure on what they’re trying to do around rugby and what they can give back [to the community].” 

Committee chairman Clark Frew declined to comment on Tuesday.