Former Ballymena businessman George Millar jailed in high-profile case 17 years ago today received a 16 months sentence for new theft

George Millar pictured in his younger days when he was a well known figure in motor sport circles.

A former Ballymena businessman who was jailed in a high-profile case in 2002 when he stole more than £400,000 from clients was today given a 16 months sentence for a new theft matter.

George Millar (61), whose address was only listed on the charge sheet as ‘Podzhou Village’, pleaded guilty to, according to the charge sheet, stealing ‘credit in an Ulster Bank account’ in the name of ‘Home (NI) Ltd to the value of 24,000′ between July 2010 and the end of December in 2010.

The case was dealt with at Antrim Crown Court on Thursday.

A charge of converting criminal property, namely funds belonging to Home (NI) Ltd, between the same dates, to which the defendant had previously entered a not guilty plea, had been ‘left on the books’ by prosecutors.

Millar was given a 16 months prison term, eight of which will be served in custody and the other half on licence.

He had been, on remand, in custody in relation to the matter for several months.

Details of the sentence were confirmed to ‘Ballymena Daily’ on Thursday by the Courts Service.

According to the Courts Service Millar was ordered to pay compensation of ‘7,500’.

In 2002, Millar was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.

Ballymena Crown Court, sitting in Antrim, heard that Millar had acted out of greed when he stole more than £400,000.

Millar had admitted 29 counts of theft.

That court heard he used his financial services company in Ballymena to take money from people who thought they were investing in an insurance firm.

However, Millar used the money for his own businesses, the BBC reported at the time.

Judge David Smith told Millar in 2002 he had acted out of greed.

“The law has to discourage those who use dishonest means in connection with other people’s money,” he said.

“There was a mixture of greed and also the ease of the opportunity that presented itself to you.”

The insurance firm had launched an inquiry in February 2000.

Millar later shot himself with an air rifle at his home on the outskirts of Ballymena.

The judge added: “Whatever motive, I think it shows some of the despair you were suffering from.”

He noted that Millar had repaid all but one of his clients.

About £670,000 of Millar’s own assets were frozen once his activities were uncovered.

His defence counsel said in 2002: “He has lost his business, his marriage and his own sense of self-worth.”

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