Mighty River Power has left all the heavy lifting to the police in any chase to get money from its former engineer and now-convicted fraudster Paul Rose.

Just why the energy company didn't try to freeze funds in December 2012 - when Rose was dismissed from his position at the Southdown power station - is unclear to Business Insider.

Perhaps the company didn't know the extent of Rose's offending, nor that of his estranged wife, Jane Rose.

Perhaps it didn't think it had suffered any loss that could be recovered.

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Or perhaps Mighty River Power was wary about adverse media attention in the lead-up to its listing on the New Zealand Stock Exchange in May 2013.

In contrast, authorities moved quickly in 2014 to restrain the Roses' assets once the pair were charged by the Serious Fraud Office.

Those charges, for obtaining by deception, culminated in guilty verdicts this week after a month-long High Court trial.

Rose, according to the SFO, set up companies in his wife's name to conceal his interest in the firms.

He then used these companies to invoice Mighty River Power for goods and services and did not declare the conflict of interest.

Although he acted on his own at first, he later had the assistance of his wife Jane, who was also convicted on Tuesday.

Business Insider understands the police are now going to forge ahead and try to have some of the Roses' assets forfeited to the Government's coffers.

The official line, however, is more circumspect.

Senior Sergeant Tim Chao, the detective in charge of the Asset Recovery Unit in Auckland, says a forfeiture bid is a course they "may" pursue.

Jane Rose.
Jane Rose.

The assets which Business Insider understands are on ice include $1.4 million of equity from the sale of three East Auckland houses, two Audis and a Ducati motorcycle.

When asked this week about the possibility of recovery action, Mighty River Power trotted out the same line it did when the Roses were charged: that any decision would be made once the SFO case was done.

Business Insider understands, however, that there would the capacity for Mighty River Power to receive funds that are forfeited to the Government.

That would be on the condition that a judge makes a reparation order when the Roses are sentenced - something that is due to happen next month.

Paul Rose.
Paul Rose.

Chao confirmed to Business Insider that police had liaised with Mighty River Power during the asset restraining process.

The company did not directly respond to a number of questions this week, saying the matter was still before the courts because of the possibility of an appeal.

"Mighty River Power fully supported the decision by the NZ Police to restrain the Roses' assets and will continue to support NZ Police in respect of any recovery action taken by it once the conviction is finalised," a spokeswoman said.

Compare and contrast

Compare and contrast Mighty River Power's actions with those of Auckland International Airport, which last month went to court to freeze the assets of a sacked employee it is chasing over $1.84 million of allegedly "unexplained transactions".

These allegations have not been proven and are so far untested.

The woman on the receiving end of the accusations also has name suppression and Business Insider is prohibited from disclosing any details that could identify her.

Authorities are still investigating and Employment Court Chief Judge Graeme Colgan said last month that the alleged fraud may have involved "manipulation and misuse" of the airport's accounting security procedures.

He said documents filed by the airport "disclose a seriously arguable case of employee fraud" and allege a repeat payment was created for work done for the NZX-listed company by a firm of professional engineers.

The judge, when making these comments, froze bank accounts linked to the former worker, as well as her home.

Business Insider can reveal that the airport company has since placed a caveat over a $1 million, 4-bedroom Auckland house - modestly priced given the suburb in which it is located.

The airport claims, according to publicly available records, that its funds were applied to the acquisition of equity in the property.

Hands off

A New South Wales accountant jailed for making hundreds of millions of dollars of false depreciation claims in tax returns is trying to keep A$2 million ($2.23 million) in New Zealand bank accounts out of the hands of Australian police.

The bean counter and his ex-wife are also attempting to keep a Rolls-Royce Phantom, a Rolls-Royce Ghost, a Riviera 4400 sports yacht and some properties out of the authorities' grasp.

These assets and others were frozen prior to Anthony James Dickson going on trial in the New South Wales Supreme Court, where he was found to have reaped A$19.62 million of profit from the offending.

He was sentenced last year to 11 years' jail and and although the frozen assets were then due to be automatically forfeited, Dickson has made a bid to have some property excluded from this.

This application has yet to be determined.