A roading contractor found guilty of corrupting public officials in the country's largest bribery case faces being stripped of $8.6m in assets police allege are the proceeds of crime.
The Police Commissioner has started civil proceedings against Stephen Borlase and his wife, after the former's conviction on eight counts of bribing Auckland Transport and Rodney District Council officials.
Police said interim orders had been obtained to restrain $8.6m of assets including freehold real estate in Mt Eden, a commercial property and a beach house in the Coromandel, bank account proceeds and motor vehicles including a 2015 Mercedes, Jeep Cherokee and a classic Ford Fairlane.
Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Allan of the Northern Asset Recovery Unit said the Police Commissioner would look to take away the unlawful benefits from people involved in significant criminal activity.
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The conviction of Borlase, and former council senior manager Murray Noone and his deputy Barry George, shook the New Zealand public service. The Herald revealed five other individuals left their jobs after it began investigating kickbacks from contractors.
During sentencing, Crown prosecutor Brian Dickey stressed the seriousness of the case: "This isn't shoplifting, this isn't misappropriation. This is offending that goes to the heart of New Zealand's public service and its ethics."
The trial of Borlase and Noone - George pleaded guilty on the eve or trial - canvassed a network of payments that saw Borlase's firm Projenz pay more than $1m to council staff. In turn the company saw a rapid rise is council contracts that pushed modest revenue into the tens of millions.
The court heard evidence of a culture of largesse in the council's roading division, as Projenz laid on long lunches for staff - including an eight-hour affair at upmarket eatery Euro that cost $5500.
Council staff - including Noone, Borlase and others - were also treated to hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of international holidays, fine wines and whiskeys and electronics.
The High Court at Auckland said the next hearing in the proceeds of crime action against Borlase was scheduled for October 11.