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Armagh man accused of defrauding Education Authority out of more than £20,000

Armagh Courthouse

An Armagh man alleged to have defrauded the Education Authority out of more than £20,000 by abusing his position as a payroll officer is to face Crown Court later this month.

The 38-year-old appeared at the city’s Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry, on Tuesday via videolink from his solicitor’s office for the purposes of a preliminary enquiry (PE) – the legal process during which a case is referred to the higher court.

Paul Traynor, of Mullanstown Park, is charged with four counts of fraud by abuse of position.

As the charges were read, it was heard that the offences were all alleged to have occurred in 2017, whilst the defendant was employed as a payroll officer for the Education Authority.

Between April and December of 2017, Traynor is accused of abusing his position by transferring £18,087.81 to two bank accounts exposing the Education Authority to loss.

Similarly, the defendant is alleged to have made a transfer of £1,640.65 on May 15, one of £442,64 on September 15 and a final transfer of £1,058.42 on October 13.

Appearing via videolink, the defendant made no objection to the holding of a preliminary enquiry.

Prosecution submitted that based on the papers before the court there was a prima facie case to answer.

Defence barrister Patrick Taggart made no contrary submissions.

District Judge Bernie Kelly was satisfied there was a prima facie case to answer and the defendant was released on his own bail of £500 to appear at Newry Crown Court on November 30 for arraignment.

Conditions of bail included not to have contact with anyone who works for the Education Authority or any witness in the case.

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