Rachinger pleads guilty

Ben Rachinger was due to start a scheduled five day trial today in the Slater/Standard hacking case, but has instead entered a guilty plea.

Stuff: Former Whale Oil associate Ben Rachinger admits deception charge

Benjamin Rachinger, 28, appeared in the Manukau District Court on Monday for what was supposed to be his judge-alone trial on a charge of obtaining money from Slater.

Instead Rachinger pleaded guilty to the charge and a sentencing date was set for March next year.

Earlier this year Slater completed diversion after admitting he hired Rachinger, an IT worker, to break into The Standard blog site.

No hack actually took place.

The charges against the pair came after Rachinger made public claims in January 2015 that he had been paid to hack The Standard, sparking a police investigation.

The sentencing will be interesting. Rachinger had claimed he had been also acting as a police informant. Slater was controversially granted diversion for the part he played in this despite previous convictions.

Lynn Prentice has posted on this prior to the guilty plea: Whaleoil and Rachinger – the final chapter starts

UPDATE:More details from Newshub: Slater-hired hacker pleads guilty to fraud (it wasn’t fraud, it was ‘obtaining be deception’).

IT consultant Ben Rachinger, 28, was hired by Mr Slater to hack into left-wing website The Standard, with the aim of embarrassing the Labour Party.

Mr Rachinger was paid $1000 by Mr Slater, but never carried out the hack they discussed. Instead he blew the whistle to TV3’s The Nation, telling the programme he was asked by Mr Slater to figure out who The Standard’s contributors were and record their IP and email addresses.

Police alleged Mr Rachinger never intended to follow through with the promise he made to Slater. He was charged with obtaining $1000 by deception for saying he could and would hack the site.

A summary of facts shows Mr Slater believed Labour politicians were writing for The Standard and posting their views anonymously online.

He offered Rachinger $5000 – paying him $1000 up front – believing the hack on The Standard’s servers would uncover evidence of links to Labour.

Mr Slater admitted his part in the plot and was discharged without conviction in May.

Mr Rachinger is also seeking a discharge without conviction, and told Newshub outside court he’s looking forward to the chance to put the matter behind him.





  1. Conspiratoor

     /  12th December 2016

    Not surprised, never doubted his guilt. An ego-driven narcissist with a compulsive tendency to stretch the truth. Another chapter to add to his …book

    • MaureenW

       /  12th December 2016

      Is that Rachinger or Slater you’re referring to? Hard to tell.

  2. Joe Bloggs

     /  12th December 2016

    There’s no winners here.

    Slater comes across as the gullible buffoon that he is.

    Ben had to cop to obtaining money by deception, as he’d received money from Slater and hadn’t done the job Slater had paid him for.

    And Lynn Prentice, the worlds greatest sysop is shown up for being unable to manage his diary let alone The Standard’s servers.

  3. I just hope that Ben is given an opportunity to keep it together as he has made determined steps to it all behind him. He is an intelligent young with a future that I hope he succeeds in grasping.

    • Anonymous Coward

       /  12th December 2016

      Is promising to write a book putting something behind you?

    • Conspiratoor

       /  12th December 2016

      Are you sure about that colonel. Depends which Ben shows up on the day. He’s on recent record here threatening to take a commenter down who crossed him

  4. Kevin

     /  12th December 2016

    According to the worlds’ greatest sysop and world’s greatest legal expert:


    The only actual crime that appears to have been committed was section 311(2) of the Crimes Act which makes it an offence to even try to procure the services of someone to access my systems.

    311 Attempt to commit or procure commission of offence
    (2) Every one who incites, counsels, or attempts to procure any person to commit any offence, when that offence is not in fact committed, is liable to the same punishment as if he or she had attempted to commit that offence, unless in respect of any such case a punishment is otherwise expressly provided by this Act or by some other enactment.

    Actually Prentice is wrong. Rachinger attempted to “sell” hacked information concerning TS to Slater. There was no incitement, counselling, or attempting to procure as the “hack” had supposedly already taken place.

    I would point this out to WGS but he’s rather sensitive about this as Mathew Hooton and gormless found out.

  5. Conspiratoor

     /  12th December 2016

    Maureen, sure slater has an inflated sense of his own impotence but compared to young benno he’s as transparent as a 3 day old sardine

    • Blazer

       /  12th December 2016

      ‘impotence’ indeed …..he is not taking it…well.

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  12th December 2016

      Wonderful use of autocorrect, Conspiratoor…! Best post of the week!

      +100 as Prent’s droogs’d say…

  6. Corky

     /  12th December 2016

    The Whaler is giving Benny a good kicking.

    • Except that Whale Oil Staff are omitting the fact that Slater acknowledging his guilt, which was necessary to get diversion.

      It also sounds like a load of unbalanced baloney.

      • Corky

         /  12th December 2016

        The way I read it, Slater did a deal. To be honest I don’t have a deep knowledge of these events.

        • Yes, and as I understand it part of that deal was to admit his guilt, a prerequisite for diversion.

          Slater has since tried to say, effectively, that that was a con to get off the charge.

          • Anonymous Coward

             /  12th December 2016

            What is Diversion?
            Diversion is a scheme that allows for some offenders who have been charged to be dealt with in an ‘out of Court’ way. If the offender completes agreed conditions, the Prosecutor can seek to have the charge dismissed and a conviction will not be recorded.

            When can Diversion be considered?
            • the offence is either the offender’s first offence, or there are special circumstances where it may be appropriate to offer diversion (e.g. the offender’s previous Court outcomes are for dissimilar offending or occurred five years or more ago)
            • the offence is not serious
            • the offender has accepted full responsibility
            for the offence
            • the legal rights of the person being offered
            diversion have been clearly outlined
            • the offender agrees to the terms of diversion.

            Guilt doesn’t come into it, just ‘responsibility’.

            • “the offender has accepted full responsibility for the offence” is difficult if not impossible without admitting some sort of guilt.

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  12th December 2016

              But it’s not guilt in the normal sense (as in “you have been found guilty”). There is no conviction entered. There is no trial. And it has to be pretty obvious that you did it, you can’t go through a jury trial be found guilty and then get diversion.

          • Mefrostate

             /  13th December 2016

            I no longer go to WOBH, is Slater still running his line that “Rawshark is the only one who did something illegal, I’m innocent”?

  7. Corky

     /  12th December 2016

    I also take regular kickings about supporting the second amendment of the American Constitution Why? Well, bearing arms may sounds ridiculous when you don’t have major problems….but when things go bad, This quote from a Whale Oil interview with a native German:

    ‘Migrants are more likely than native Germans to rape and sexually assault women. Our police are understaffed in many areas and we do not have the right to bear arms. Women are increasingly feeling uneasy to go out when its dark and some are even refusing to do so. The migrants have made Germany much more unsafe for my mother, grandmother, aunt and my little sister. And I will not be able to forgive our politicians for inviting those people in and subsidising their lives.’

    Tough Cheese,son. Um,looks like you could die. Islam is a religion of peace- don’t you know?

  8. Pete Kane

     /  12th December 2016

    Can anyone recall (if there was any) expert opinion offered as to the sentencing ‘tariff’ that CS received? I suspect (and I certainly don’t know this for a fact) that the case law around these sorts of crime is still pretty thin.

    • Anonymous Coward

       /  12th December 2016

      He wasn’t sentenced.

      • Pete Kane

         /  12th December 2016

        Yea of course – sorry, ‘blond’ day.

        • Anonymous Coward

           /  12th December 2016

          There is a punishment that goes with diversion, I understand he had to do some community service. I can’t find what or how much except that it was done between the 15th April and the 6th May, so probably not much.

          As an aside, I searched for the decision, found it and then noticed it was hosted by **********.*** {edited, no links there please – PG] Someone is back.

          • Whale Oil’s Cameron Slater has been granted diversion by police for attempting to hire Ben Rachinger for $5000 to get into the left-wing “The Standard” blog. Instead of being convicted and sentenced, he has arranged to do 40 hours work for the children’s charity Kidscan.

            Judge Richard McIlraith said: “He has accepted his guilt and embarked upon a programme of diversion to address that.”

            Posted here: https://yournz.org/2016/05/10/media-on-slater-standard-hack/
            NZ Herald: Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater admits soliciting hack

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  12th December 2016

              There you go. “granted diversion” “Instead of being convicted” Yo’ve had a long time to work this out Pete. Seems you’re the only one calling him GUILTY.

            • I have never said he was convicted. Did you miss this bit:

              Judge Richard McIlraith said: “He has accepted his guilt and embarked upon a programme of diversion to address that.”

              That says “accepted his guilt” – it is the judge saying it, so I’m the only one saying Slater admitted guilt.

  9. I also am sure that Slater admitted his guilt, and suggest that he had listened to good legal advice on how to extract himself from a tricky situation with minimal harm to his reputation. I am less than impressed with Rawshark’s blatant aggression based on utu towards Ben Rachinger who has gone through a personal catharsis as a consequence of the whole saga. The number of downticks from my last comment on Ben shows to me just how few understand the real background to the whole saga, not that I am in anyway claiming all-knowing omnipotence on this matter as I don’t have a monopoly on the truth which is actually out there.