A Hamilton accountant who pleaded guilty to stealing approximately $4 million from a family trust has been sentenced to 5 years and one month jail.

Judge Glenn Marshall ruled Gary Soffe must serve a minimum of 2-and-a-half-years non parole period.

Gary Soffe admitted nine counts of theft by a person in a special relationship, in May, and one charge of obtaining by false accounting and obtaining by deception.

Soffe resigned as the administrator of the family trust earlier this year, with a forensic investigation uncovering his deception.

How can an accountant make so much money?

Soffe lived in one of the Waikato's most ostentatious mansions - complete with an enormous swimming pool, a hydroslide and a floodlit tennis court - but some locals always wondered how an average kind of guy could ever afford such riches.

The reasons became clear when he appeared in the Hamilton District Court in May. The 52-year-old admitted stealing almost $4 million over four years.

One man, who asked not to be named, said he knew Soffe when he owned a smaller home also in the neighbourhood. He sold the house several years ago before moving to his property at Woodcock Rd, which he has never invited his old friend to.

"He moved into a far bigger house that needed a lot of expensive work and everyone started asking, 'How can an accountant like him make that much money?'

"It seemed strange but I guess we know why now. We knew then that he handled a few family trusts."

Soffe administered a number of trusts, all linked to one family, but stole about $4 million from them with the bulk of the transactions happening between 2006 and 2010.

The news did not surprise some Tamahere locals who had questioned how a regular guy working in an "average" Frankton office could ever afford a lavish mansion, a few kilometres south of Hamilton.

One associate said he helped with the construction of the 745sq m house, which has a medieval-themed wine cellar, five bedrooms, three bathrooms and solar underfloor heating.

The associate said he went to Soffe's Frankton office, which now has for lease signs over its windows, and thought his workplace was "pretty average".

"There were only three people working there and it wasn't anything flash - but his place we were working on was. The funny part about it was we all kind of wondered how he had so much money. He just seemed like a regular guy and the only comment we would make was, 'Wow, I wish I could do whatever he is doing because he's doing pretty well'."

Defence counsel Warren Scotter said Soffe had co-operated fully with forensic investigators who made inquiries on behalf of the family trust. He said Soffe would be able to pay reparation. Community magistrate Susan Hovell suppressed the identities of the trust and family members involved.