- Associated Press - Thursday, March 26, 2015

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A former Consol Energy executive has been sentenced to 2½ years in federal prison for stealing $440,000 in gas royalties from the company by forging deed transfers so he could funnel the money into a fake company he ran out of a post office box.

Thirty-eight-year-old Scott Hamilton, of Baden, was sentenced by a federal judge in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. He pleaded guilty to mail fraud in November.

Hamilton was Consol’s land records general manager when he used two fake identities to forge deed transfers from Consol to his fake company, PRH. That enabled him to funnel drilling rights royalties from a 1,100-acre parcel in West Virginia and a 95-acre parcel in Illinois to the bogus company.

Consol officials alerted federal authorities when they discovered the scheme in September 2013.

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