Money launder loses her home
The house used to launder money in an international meth operation has been sold for ‘‘significantly higher’’ than the rateable valuation with proceeds going to the Crown.
Police seized Linda Olive Aldworth’s Rotorua home following a 2014 investigation into methamphetamine related offending.
The house sold in July 2017 for $385,000 and all proceeds of the sale were forfeited to the Crown.
‘‘This is a strong message to those involved in crime,’’ said Detective Senior Sergeant Brent Murray of the Central Asset Recovery Unit.
‘‘If you succumb to the temptation and greed of money earned from crime then you face losing your assets.’’
Aldworth, a Rotorua nurse, was in a relationship with another person who was also arrested in the police operation. She was arrested in the 2014 National Organised Crime Group operation.
The investigation resulted in a number of arrests and convictions for the importation and distribution of at least 1.75 kilograms of methamphetamine.
The Wellington-based Central Asset Recovery Unit investigated Aldworth’s assets and found she laundered large sums of money in New Zealand and overseas.
Police charged Aldworth with laundering $363,631.99. She pleaded guilty to money laundering charges and was sentenced to 10 months home detention. Other assets were also forfeited.
Her money laundering helped others import methamphetamine, police said.
‘‘Methamphetamine related crimes create massive social harm in our communities which in turn has significant financial costs for our country, and we will pursue any profits derived from dealing in this drug.
The agent that sold the property - who wished to remain anonymous - said the property was ‘‘easy to sell’’.
They also said it was the first time they had sold a property forfeited as a result of a criminal conviction.
The agent said the price was also boosted as two people bid for the property via auction.
They were fully appraised of how the home came on the market - and it was tested for methamphetamine.
‘‘[There was] no evidence of any meth,’’ they said.