A former pokie trustee faces up to seven years in jail for stealing money which should have gone to the community.
Shane Alvin Cosgrave switched his plea to guilty three days into his trial, and admitted stealing nearly $365,000 from the South Auckland Community Trust.
In return, Internal Affairs dropped two other charges.
In 2007 the 66-year-old's Trust was denied a new gaming licence because Cosgrave was both a trustee, and being paid to run it. The Trust then sold its operation to the Lion Foundation.
A forensic accountant then found Cosgrave had used trust money to run his own pub, lease a car, and give himself personal loans.
Internal Affairs has welcomed the conviction, saying it sends a clear message to others.
"Gaming machine society trustees are responsible for ensuring that the maximum amount possible is returned to the community," Internal Affairs' Gambling Compliance Director, Debbie Despard said.
"The Gambling Act makes it clear that the purpose of gambling is to benefit communities and those involved with running gaming machines in pubs and clubs are entitled only to costs that are actual, reasonable and necessary."
Last year, Internal Affairs ordered Cosgrave to pay $975,000, but has confirmed it has received nothing.