A workers' compensation auditor and four coal company contractors have pleaded guilty to federal charges in a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme.
Federal prosecutors said Thursday that 52-year-old Brickstreet Insurance auditor Arville Sargent pleaded guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion.
Prosecutors say Sargent admitted allowing labor contractors for southern West Virginia coal operators to underreport their payroll in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash bribes and other items, including an all-terrain vehicle.
The companies involved in the scheme were Aracoma Contracting LLC, Christian Contracting, Newhall Contracting and T&W Services.
Four others in West Virginia and Kentucky pleaded guilty to charges stemming from paying workers in cash or through a shell company to evade either workers compensation premiums or payroll taxes.
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