A man who helped stage a multimillion-dollar gold heist and buried the loot at a place called Dollar could be free from jail in less than two years.
Karl Kachami walked into the Melbourne Gold Company with a gun.
“This is a robbery,” he told CBD shop manager Daniel Ede. Except it was all staged. The gun wasn’t loaded.
Ede played the victim for the sake of the security footage while trying to covertly guide Kachami – pushing a trolley and clad in googles, a mask and high-vis safety vest – around various safes.
The pair stole about 28 kilograms of gold bullion, scrap gold and jewellery worth more than $2.4 million, as well as $716,970 in cash.
At one point, Ede could be seen trying to point his supposed robber to a safe containing gold and cash worth $4.6 million.
But Kachami didn’t seem to take the hint.
He left Ede cable tied on the floor and drove to his mother’s property at Dollar, in Victoria’s South Gippsland region.
There he buried the treasure and tried to burn some of the evidence.
The 48-year-old was jailed in the County Court on Monday for four years. He must serve half that time before becoming eligible for release on parole.
“Had it not been for your ineptitude, the amount [stolen] could have been much higher,” Judge Howard Mason said.
“This was a brazen operation, carefully considered with comprehensive preparation designed to disguise your complicity.”
Kachami previously pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, theft and possessing an unregistered gun.
He blamed illness and financial stress wrought by COVID-19.
The court was told he’d overextended on his mortgages and faced forced property sales in an uncertain market.
“A simple analysis demonstrates that you possessed the means to comfortably and legitimately manage any losses,” Judge Mason said.
“The clear motivation was that you simply resorted to serious crime to ameliorate some financial setback.”
Because Kachami wasn’t really robbing Ede, he saw the heist as a victimless crime.
Melbourne Gold Company owner Michael Kulkulta felt differently. He’d known Ede for 15 years and hired him.
“They did not just rob me of my gold and money, but they robbed me of my faith in mateship,” Mr Kulkulta previously told the court.
Authorities are yet to recover $333,240 of the stolen cash.
Kachami has already spent 87 days in custody, which will count towards his sentence.
Ede previously pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and theft.
He applied for his case to be dealt with in the Koori Court, which deals with Indigenous offenders.