Court hears farmers sold 'electricity saving devices' which amounted to 'little more than pieces of plastic'
Three Co Armagh businessmen who sold hundreds of fake "electricity saving devices" have narrowly avoided going to jail.
Customers were charged between £200 and £7,500 for the devices which Trading Standards say amounted to "little more than pieces of plastic".
The company targeted farmers, sponsoring farming youth events and marketing itself at the National Ploughing Association Championships in 2012, which draws in thousands of farmers from across Ireland.
The three businessmen - who traded as Electricity Saver Ireland - were convicted of conspiracy to defraud the public in Newry Crown Court on Wednesday.
Gary John McGeown, John Paul McGeown and Peter Doran all pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud consumers and businesses.
The firm operated from Abbey Street in Armagh.
They were sentenced to 15 months imprisonment suspended for three years for their role in selling and supplying bogus electricity saving devices.
Richard Knipe from the Trading Standards Service said: "The laws of physics would have to be rewritten for these devices to have worked in the manner claimed by the defendants."