Bank official is found dead at his home

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A bank official from Ballinderry was found dead at his home last week just hours before he was due to appear in Dungannon court on a number of fraud charges.

Nigel Howard, 55, from the Moira Road, in Ballinderry Upper, was due to face a total of 67 charges.

Mr Howard who was working as a financial consultant with the First Trust Bank in the Dungannon area was accused of receiving payments from clients who believed he was investing the money on their behalf.

He had been due to appear at a preliminary inquiry in Dungannon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday of last week.

However, he was found dead the previous night.

The police say his death is not being treated as suspicious.

The charges related to Mr Howard’s financial dealings with nearly 20 customers.

It was alleged that he had received payments from clients who believed he was investing the money on their behalf.

According to the charges, he was siphoning the money into savings and investment accounts in his own name.

The total amount allegedly embezzled runs to hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Some individual clients were claiming to have given him up to £29,000 a time.

The court was told the defendant was deceased and that the case was being withdrawn.

A spokesperson for First Trust Bank said: “We have been made aware of this tragic incident and our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr Howard at this difficult time.”

It is understood that all the alleged victims involved in the case have now been fully compensated by the bank.