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Legal aid for municipal worker in Paphos signs scam

The Paphos Criminal Court agreed on Monday to grant legal aid to a former municipal worker facing charges of corruption in relation with an alleged €300,000 scam involving sign companies.

After reviewing his situation, the court agreed to cover half of Andreas Nicolaou’s legal expenses after he argued that he could not cover them himself due to the financial obligations he had with his child’s studies.

Nicolaou is currently in jail for stealing from parking meters. He is expected to be released at the end of May next year.

For this case, Nicolaou and two others, Christos Ioannou, manager of Etna sign company, and Soteris Antoniades, manager of Alma sign company, will be formally charged on May 10.

The suspects face charges of conspiracy to commit a felony, forgery and circulation of forged documents, obtaining money under false pretences, theft, abuse of power and abuse of trust.

The alleged crimes took place between 2006 and 2012.

The suspects reportedly used three different means to extract easy cash; by issuing false invoices for road signs that were never made, charging for larger signs than those that were actually manufactured, and charging the municipality for invoices the Public Works Department had already paid for.

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