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Press Release

Logan County Man Pleads Guilty To Tax Fraud In Connection With Arch Coal Kickback Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A 52-year-old Logan County man faces up to three years in prison after admitting today to filing false tax returns, United States Attorney Booth Goodwin announced. Gary Roeher, of Holden, West Virginia, entered a guilty plea before United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston.

Roeher admitted that on his 2010 and 2011 federal tax returns, he illegally claimed business-expense deductions for kickbacks that he paid to an Arch Coal official at the company’s Mountain Laurel Mining Complex.

Roeher and the official receiving the kickbacks stole money from Arch through a dummy invoice scheme. In the scheme, Roeher would submit bills to Arch for non-existent supplies that Roeher had purportedly provided to the company. The Arch official on the other end of the scheme would then falsely certify that the supplies had been received, so that Arch’s accounting department would pay the false bills that Roeher had submitted. After he got paid by Arch, Roeher would then pay the Arch official a kickback in exchange for his participation in the scheme. It was these kickback payments that Roeher falsely claimed as legitimate business expenses on his 2010 and 2011 tax returns.

Between 2010 and 2011, Roeher paid the Known Person $35,170.60 in kickbacks. In accordance with his plea agreement, Roeher has agreed to forfeit that amount to the Internal Revenue Service.

Arch’s Mount Laurel Mining Complex is located in Sharples, Logan County, West Virginia.

Roeher also admitted he deducted approximately $43,000 as a business expense for his company, CM Supply, when Roeher actually used those funds to install an in-ground swimming pool at his residence.

Roeher is scheduled to be sentenced on October 15, 2014, at 2:00 pm, in Charleston.

Nine more guilty plea hearings are scheduled for other defendants associated with the Arch kickback scheme:

United States v. Alvis Porter, scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on July 10, 2014;
United States v. Gary Griffith, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on July 14, 2014;
United States v. Ronald Barnette, scheduled for 3:00 p.m. on July 14, 2014;
United States v. Scott Ellis, scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on July 16, 2014;
United States v. Scott Herndon, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on July 16, 2014;
United States v. David Herndon, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on July 17, 2014;
United States v. Chadwick Lusk, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on July 21, 2014;
United States v. James Evans III, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on August 4, 2014; and
United States v. David Runyon, scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on August 7, 2014.

Today’s charge stems from an investigation being conducted by the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation, United States Postal Inspection Service, and the West Virginia State Police.  Assistant United States Attorney Meredith George Thomas is in charge of the prosecution.

Updated January 7, 2015