Auckland builder gambles away $1.5 million in NZ casino

Auckland gambler loses millions playing pokies in NZ casino

You have heard many stories about gamblers striking it rich but for every fairytale of this kind, there are numerous horror stories of people gambling all their money away. Such is the story of Auckland builder, Li Dong Xie. The businessman, who became bankrupt in July of 2010 and went on carrying out business without proper consent up until August 2015.

The businessman has a number of pseudonyms; Solomon Xie, Frank Xie and Lidong Xie. Mr. Xie had been running his business, New Town Home Construction, despite declaring himself bankrupt. In this period, he made a sum of $1.5 million that he used while playing slots at SkyCity Casino.

Owing to his chronic gambling habit, Mr.Xie lost money that was meant to pay creditors. He was charged with obtaining credit, gambling, concealing property, procurement of property on credit, attempting to obtain credit, acting as director in a company without the permission of the Official Assignee (OA), not filing a Statement of Affairs and attempting to leave New Zealand without the permission of the OA. He pleaded guilty to all charges under the Insolvency Act 2006.

According to the Official Assignee, Ross van der Schyff, Mr. Xie showed no remorse for his crimes and blatantly ignored instructions from the OA during the period he ran his business unlawfully. While running his construction business against the law, Xie made approximately $1.5 million dollars that he then proceeded to gamble away at the New Zealand casino playing pokies. He was a well known high-roller at various New Zealand casinos.

The OA, van der Scyff, described the businessman’s behavior as a barefaced insult towards the rest of the business community in Auckland at large. According to the OA, other business people keen on earning an honest living and meeting their obligations should not have to experience instances where other business people who abscond their duties rip them off. Besides this, the businessman’s conduct is likely to cause unease and affects normal New Zealanders who have nothing to do with the whole situation.


Attempted to flee the country

Mr. Xie must have been overwhelmed by the extent of his legal problems and thought it best to leave everything behind and escape. He had everything planned out when his plan was foiled at the Auckland Airport while attempting to board a plane to China. The OA was glad that the businessman was found out before he could make good his escape. According to Van Der Schyff, it is only right that the business man pay for his offences given it is such a
long list of breaches.

According to Van Der Schyff, Mr. Xie is facing his second bankruptcy, which shall see him discharged in November 2018. Until he is discharged, the businessman has been denied the consent to run any business as part of the management unless under authorization of the OA.

The builder pled guilty to ten charges on March 12 at the Auckland District Court. His sentencing is due on May 18. Due to the charges he has pleaded guilty to, Mr. Xie is restricted from managing any company until March 12 of 2023. Some of the charges leveled against him are punishable by maximum penalty, each attracting a 3-year jail term.