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Scott Hamilton, who formerly worked as a land records manager for Consol Energy Inc., has pleaded guilty to mail fraud for a royalties scheme in which the U.S. Attorney's Office said he stole $440,000 from the company's interests at parcels in West Virginia and Illinois. Hamilton, 37, of Pennsylvania, was expected to make the plea after he reached an agreement with federal prosecutors in September (see Shale DailySept. 23). In 2009, he established a fake company to file deed transfers that turned Consol's royalty interests on the properties over to the phony business. Consol reported the missing royalties to the authorities. He is set to be sentenced in March. 

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