Fri, Apr 28, 10:41am by Staff Writer
Security footage from Brisbane’s Treasury casino has revealed Brisbane Broncos prop Joe Ofahengaue cheating on a hand of poker.
The 21-year-old, who was a member of the club’s 2015 Grand Final side, pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Magistrates court, to slipping a $100 chip underneath the $15 one he already had on the table.
The footage was aired in court on Friday morning, just after the Tongan international pleaded guilty to one charge of cheating by fraudulent act or scheme.
The bizarre incident occurred at around 5:45am on April, according to police prosecutor Senior Constable Wade Domagala, who went on to say that the dealer did not see the sleight of hand, but security reviewed the footage shortly after, which uncovered the act.
Ofahengaue – who was dropped to the Queensland Cup in the middle of the 2016 season, and only returned to the first-grade side two weeks ago – returned the money after he was confronted by security and then left the area.
The court was then told that Ofahengaue – who played in the Broncos win over the Panthers on Thursday night – returned later the same day to give security his name and address. Then, four days later, he made admissions to police and was charged.
Ofahengaue did not give a reason why he could not appear personally to face the charge, but it may have been due to the fact he played for the Broncos the night before. His written plea simply said he was ‘unable to attend court on the day mentioned’.
The nephew of ex-Wallabies player Willie Ofahengaue was fined $400, but a conviction was not recorded. It helped that the casino did not seek any restitution and that he cooperated with Police.
The Broncos were aware of the incident, reported it to the NRL integrity unit and consider the matter is now closed.
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