Sevens fraud accused says he’ll fight charges

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The Wakatipu man accused of an alleged $80,000 fraud of the National Sevens rugby tournament says he’ll defend the charges.
 
Arrowtowner Richie Anderson, originally responsible for bringing the popular event to Queenstown 10 years ago, tells scene.co.nz he’s innocent till proven guilty. 

An emotional Anderson, speaking from Dunedin this morning (Friday), says he was flabbergasted when he heard about the alleged amount of $80,000. 

Asked if he disputed that, he said: “Good god yes.” 

Asked what number he would put on it, Anderson replied: “No, I’m not going to say what the amount is – the amount was never mentioned to me when [detective Matt Jones] was talking to me. 

“I will speak to a lawyer but it will be defended. Oh yeah – a few things are going to come out. 

“Anyway I just rang up regarding my job which I haven’t got anymore,” Anderson says.

Scene.co.nz yesterday afternoon revealed the identity of the accused was Anderson, who until a couple of years ago had been one of seven or eight members of the Sevens organising committee Sevens with Altitude.

Anderson: “Things are going to come out during the court hearing, the Sevens with Altitude boys, they know what they are.

“I’ve got two boys and two daughters who live in this town. And my job – my boss has just rang up and was okay with it before but now not – now I’m gone.” 

Anderson, working as a real estate agent at the Queenstown branch of the Professionals firm, was arrested on Wednesday. 

The 50-year-old faces two charges of using a document to obtain a pecuniary advantage and four charges of causing loss by deception – and detective Jones has said the charges related to the organising of the sevens. 

The offences allegedly occurred between January 2009 and December 2010. 

The event, which donates money back to Wakatipu and wider Otago sporting groups, has been held in Queenstown every year since 2003 and is scheduled to run here again next January. 

Anderson, who says he plans to go for name suppression, is scheduled to appear in Queenstown District Court on Monday.