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Man defrauded his Co Armagh employers out of £50,000

A man who defrauded his Co Armagh employers out of more than £50,000 has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

Darren John Hamilton, 45, of Knockdene Park, Belfast, appeared before Craigavon Crown Court facing eight charges of fraud against Lurgan-based mechanical installation firm Maurice Stevenson Limited (MSL).

The offences were committed between April 1, 2013 and August 1, 2014 where he worked as an operations manager for the company.

He was sentenced to 20 months in prison, which was suspended for two years.

Co-accused David Harbinson, 46, of Carnamena Avenue in Belfast, received an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years after pleading guilty to a single count of false accounting.

Roger Crawford, 42, of Ballyholme Esplanade, Bangor was ordered to carry out 100 hours community service after he also pleaded guilty to a single charge of fraud by false representation.

He admitted to fraudulently invoicing the company for £22,000.

The family-run business, which had been in operation for 95 years, was put into administration last year, however, it could not be proven that this was the case because of the fraudulent activity.

A total of 33 jobs were lost at the time.

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