Crown sells gold dealer's 4ha lifestyle block bought with 'tainted' money.

Auckland's booming property market has led to a $6.8 million windfall for the police.

Second-hand dealer Rob Burgess pleaded guilty to receiving $250,000 of stolen gold and jewellery and was sentenced to three years and six months in prison in 2014.

In a parallel civil case, the police sought to seize "tainted" assets bought with the $2.03 million Burgess was paid by a gold melting refinery for 88kg of stolen jewellery.


A High Court judge rejected Burgess' explanations about his lack of records, as he dealt mainly in cash, and said he did not "impress as a witness of truth".

Justice Geoffrey Venning was satisfied Burgess and his wife paid the deposit and mortgage repayments on their Auckland home, which they purchased for $1,050,000 in 2006, with the profits of crime.

The 4 hectare lifestyle block north-west of Auckland was forfeited to the police and this week settled for $6.8 million.

Just over $400,000 will be returned to Burgess' wife and son, money which was proven as legitimate from a previous property sale and renovations to the home, but the balance will be put in the Crown coffers.

It's one of the largest forfeitures under the Criminal Proceeds Recovery Act as the court order targets not only the asset, but any profit - in this case millions of dollars because of the incredible growth in the Auckland property market.

A tractor, a Corvette and $20,000 cash in a safe was also taken, although other seized assets were returned.

In a previous interview with the Herald on Sunday, Rob Burgess lamented the legislation as unfair.

"I thought once I'd been to jail that would be it. They come at you twice. I've worked my whole life and I've got nothing to show for it," Burgess said in March.


"They're just taking everything from you and leave you with nothing....Why was I put in prison? Wasn't that my punishment?"

But Detective Sergeant Wayne Gray, the officer in charge of the civil case, rejected Burgess' criticism of the case against him.

He said the Criminal Proceeds Recovery Act was not a "second punishment", on top of a criminal court case, but to make sure people didn't profit from crime.

"The Burgesses are trying to portray themselves as the victims here, which Justice Venning saw through. He said they're not credible and they benefited from criminal activity

"They were running a second-hand shop which was not overly productive in many regards," said Gray.

"But they've made a fair amount of money from stolen goods, bought a house and paid the mortgage with criminal funds.

"This is not a second punishment - it's returning them to where they were financially before committing the crime."

The $6.8m sale price- nearly seven times what the Burgess paid - was an unexpected bonus for the Crown, said Gray.

"This is a great result, off the back of the Auckland property market. It sends a strong message: If you commit a crime, we'll come after whatever gain you have made from it."