Former Consol official pleads guilty to siphoning $440K in gas royalties
The former land records general manager for Consol Energy Inc. admitted Wednesday to swindling the company out of about $440,000 in gas royalties.
Scott D. Hamilton, 37, of Baden pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud. Each count carries a possible sentence of 20 years in prison.
U.S. District Judge David Cercone scheduled Hamilton’s sentencing for March 25. Hamilton remains free on a $25,000 unsecured bond. His attorney couldn’t be reached for comment.
Using his position at the Cecil-based energy company, Hamilton in 2009 used fake names to file deed transfers on an 1,100-acre parcel in Fayette County, W.Va., and a 95-acre parcel in Christian County, Ill., prosecutors said.
Once the deed transfers went through, he had natural gas royalty payments for the two properties sent to a fake company he ran out of a Canonsburg post office box, prosecutors said.
Consol discovered the missing royalty payments and reported the thefts to authorities, a company spokeswoman said in September, when federal prosecutors charged Hamilton.
A Consol representative did not return a phone call Wednesday.
Brian Bowling is a Trib Total Media staff writer. He can be reached at 412-325-4301 or [email protected].