The London Borough of Hackney served Yusuf Sarodia, director of Garland Development Limited, with an enforcement notice in August 2011 ordering him to demolish the illegally-built block of 34 privately-rented flats in Hoxton, East London.
He ignored the notice and was taken to court by the council and on 21 November 2014, Garland Development and Sarodia pleaded guilty to the offence of failing to comply with the enforcement notice at Thames Magistrates Court.
Sarodia was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court for the offence of failing to comply with the enforcement notice on 30 November and was fined £10,000.
In parallel to pursuing the notice breach, Hackney Council made an application to confiscate the money illegally made from the building under the Proceeds of Crime Act and last month, Snaresbrook Crown Court granted the order for the seizure of £700,000.
The confiscation order is believed to be one of the biggest ever handed down for a planning crime.
This order, combined with the £10,000 fine, plus £15,120 in legal costs, meant Sarodia had to pay out a total of £725,120.
Guy Nicholson, the council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: "Anyone who thinks they have a right to build a property in Hackney without first obtaining planning permission must realise that the council will take action against those who flout the rules.
"Putting up a building without planning permission is not only breaching planning law but, to be quite frank, puts at risk the safety of residents and neighbouring properties."