Sevens fraud accused in court


A Wakatipu man accused of a fraud of Queenstown’s National Sevens rugby tournament had his first court appearance today (Monday).
Richard Edgar Anderson, 50, appeared in Queenstown District Court briefly before being granted a registrar’s adjournment till April 23. 

Anderson, who originally brought the popular rugby tournament to Queenstown 10 years ago, has been charged with dishonestly using an invoice and separate cheque in the amount of $151,465 to obtain a pecuniary advantage. 

Anderson is also charged with causing a total loss of $86,075 by deception to the local Sevens With Altitude committee which runs the Sevens event. 

The committee acts as a charity, doling out money to sporting groups in the Wakatipu and wider Otago-Country area. 

Police arrested the local real estate agent, a former detective, last Wednesday and detective Matt Jones later issued a statement saying the alleged fraud was in the vicinity of $80,000. 

All the offences are alleged to have been committed between January 2009 and December 2010. 

Anderson initially appeared before Judge Kevin Phillips to address in-court media coverage and duty solicitor Phena Byrne indicated Anderson was going to apply for name suppression. 

Judge Phillips says that would be futile given Anderson’s name had already been published in the media. 

Mountain Scene website first revealed Anderson’s identity last Thursday – a day later in an interview he told the website he’d be . 

Judge Phillips rejected media applications for filming and taking photographs of Anderson in court because his first appearance was being dealt with by way of registrar’s adjournment.