Internal Affairs hopes the case of a man facing jail for stealing from a pokies trust will serve as a deterrent.
Shane Alvin Cosgrave admitted stealing nearly $365,000 from the South Auckland Charitable Trust.
The money ought to have gone into community projects and organisations.
Internal Affairs Gambling Compliance Director Debbie Despard says Mr Cosgrave used it to run his own pub, lease a car, and give himself personal loans.
"Money from gaming machines needs to go back to the community. If you're in the gaming industry and you're contemplating doing other things with that money, we will hold you to account."
Ms Despard says the theft was discovered when the trust was sold.
"The department has exhausted all avenues to hold this person to account and so the results here are actually really successful."
Mr Cosgrave will be sentenced in September.