%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%More than 1,000 pieces of rare sci-fi memorabilia seized by police from a criminal couple are to go under the hammer today.
Actual costumes used in the Star Trek films, including Scotty's jacket, a replica Millennium Falcon from Star Wars and remote control Daleks are among the lots in the unusual collection.
The diverse and valuable haul was once owned by a husband and wife, who build it up using their ill-gotten gains.
The 55-year-old woman from West Yorkshire pleaded guilty in December last year to stealing £2.3 million from her employer, a Halifax-based firm that supplies commercial laundry equipment, over a seven year period between 2005 and December 2012.
Her 48-year-old husband pleaded guilty to laundering £924,190 of the stolen cash, between July 2009 and December 2012.
As well as the huge collection of sci-fi memorabilia, they bought a £500,000 house, spent almost £194,000 on holidays, and £85,947 on a Mercedes car each.
On instructions from West Yorkshire Police, Wilsons Auctions in Northern Ireland is putting the collection up for sale tonight with no reserve price on any of the items.
Aidan Larkin, assets recovery manager at Wilsons, said the auction presented a "once in a lifetime" opportunity for sci-fi fans.
"These items come round very, very rarely," he said. "It's rare for such a large, significant collection of these items to become available. Normally at the specialist toy auctions there are one or two items of a certain range - we have complete waves of toys that were produced."
Mr Larkin, who said he expected a lot of on-line bids from the US, said the set of six Star Trek costumes were probably the most valuable items for sale.
"We have been informed when the costumes last changed hands in Christie's Auctions in New York a few years ago the couple in question spent 27,000 US dollars on these costumes," he said.
The auction gets under way at 6.30pm in Wilsons' headquarters in Mallusk in north Belfast.
The most overpaid actors of 2013
Sci-fi memorabilia to go on sale
Pride of place on this list goes to the star of Jack and Jill, who is said to fetch up to $15 million per film, and is not pulling in the crowds the way he once did. That's My Boy didn't do him many financial favours (taking $57 million at the box office after spending a budget of $70 million), and this research was done before the relative success of Grown Ups 2 could be factored into the sums. In the end the films made a paltry $3.40 for every dollar he was paid.
Second place on the list goes to comedy star Heigl, who was dragged into the list because the money she could command after making hits like 27 Dresses were poured down the drain on the financial disasters: Killers and One for the Money. Her films made $3.50 for every dollar she was paid. Shockingly this is her second year at number 2 - last year she returned $3.40 for every dollar she earned.
Witherspoon felt the effects of Water for Elephants and This Means War. Her films made just $3.90 for every $1 she was paid. Sadly this was exactly the same position she held last year - when she returned exactly the same sum per dollar.
Cage made a return of $6 for every dollar spent on his fee. This wasn't helped by the shocking performance of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
The comedy actor was previously one of the best value for money, but took a major hit with Here Comes the Boom. Who would have guessed that a film about a teacher who tried to raise money for his school by becoming a mixed martial arts fighter wouldn't be an enormous hit? He returned just $6.10 for every dollar spent on his fee.
It's a shocking name for this list, but his films made just $8.30 for every dollar spent on Washington. He made some pretty bankable films during this time too, including Flight and Safe House. It just goes to show the effect that a massive fee can have on your value-for-money ratings.
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone has a lot to answer for here. It made just $22 million at the box office, so Forbes has calculated that he returned just $10 for every dollar spent on his fee.
Her films made $10.60 for every dollar spent on her fee. She still commands huge fees for her work (estimated at $5 million), and the return certainly wasn't helped by the relative failure of Wanderlust, which only took $22 million at the box office.
Joint eighth with Aniston, making $10.60 for every $1 spent on his fee, this is quite a come down for the Bourne actor. However, it's a reflection of the fact he commands large fees, and chose to star in films which were never going to draw Bourne-sized crowds - like Behind the Candelabra.
His films made $10.70 for every $1 he received. Green Lantern didn't do him any favours - becoming one of the worst-performing superhero movies ever. It will come as no comfort at all to Reynolds that he's likely to find himself here again next year - after his summer blockbuster RIPD became one of the biggest flops of this year (and was released after the period the researchers were looking at).