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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of West Virginia

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Man sentenced for lying about role in Arch Coal kickback scheme

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Booth Goodwin announced today that Ronald Barnette, 54, of Holden, West Virginia, was sentenced to three years of probation, including six months of home confinement and a $20,000 fine for lying about paying kickbacks at Arch Coal’s Mountain Laurel mining complex.

In July 2014, Barnette pleaded guilty to making a materially false statement in a federal matter by lying about paying kickbacks to David Runyon, Mountain Laurel’s general manager. Barnette owned and operated Mining Repair Specialist, Inc., which rebuilt mining equipment from Mountain Laurel. Barnette admitted that from 2009-2010, he paid around $300,000 in kickbacks so Runyon would continue hiring his company to do work at the mine. Barnette further admitted to lying to agents when asked about paying cash kickbacks.

Barnette forfeited $400,000 to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in connection with the kickback scheme.

United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston imposed the sentence.

This case stems from a larger investigation conducted by the FBI, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, United States Postal Inspection Service and West Virginia State Police. Assistant United States Attorney Meredith George Thomas handled the prosecution.


Updated January 8, 2016