A Dunedin gang member on the periphery of the
misappropriation of trust funds to buy cannabis has been
sentenced to community detention and community work.
Jason Renata Kapa, 43, employed, was one of several Mongrel
Mob Notorious gang members charged over the dishonest
conversion by We Against Violence Trust trustees of $20,000
for an unauthorised purpose.
Kapa pleaded guilty in December and was yesterday sentenced
in the Dunedin District Court to two months' community
detention and 240 hours' community work.
Judge Michael Crosbie suggested it was time Kapa took stock
of where his life was going and whether he wanted to keep
offending. The offending by the defendant and others had been
"at the expense of the New Zealand taxpayer", the judge said.
The defendant was one of four trustees of the trust which was
registered with the Charities Commission, and received
funding through Te Puni Kokiri and the district health board.
A police investigation last year revealed that trustees,
including Kapa and the principal offender, Korrey Teeati
Cook, 36, were involved in transferring $20,000 of the
government-provided funds to personal accounts for use in
buying cannabis to sell.
Counsel Alastair Logan said community detention and community
work was the sentence recommended on the basis of Kapa's
lesser involvement in the fraud. Kapa was one of the trustees
able to authorise payments from the fund.
Crown counsel Richard Smith said the recommendation for a
weekend curfew was in recognition of Kapa being in full-time
employment. Probation did not want that employment disrupted.
Judge Michael Crosbie said Kapa had previous criminal
convictions but the frequency of his offending was declining.
He was a father, had started a full-time carpentry course and
last year completed second year NCEA qualifications. He was
"obviously a member of a gang" and it was time he looked at
his life and where it was going, the judge told him.
On the charge that he and others, as trustees dishonestly
converted $20,000 for an unauthorised purpose, Kapa was
sentenced to two months' community detention, with a weekend
curfew, and 240 hours' community work.
* Korrey Cook, the principal offender, was sentenced to a
total of four years' jail for his involvement, three years
and three months for cannabis dealing charges and an
additional nine months for the criminal breach of trust.