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Justice News

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

Friday, June 26, 2015

U.S. Attorney Goodwin and IRS award over $200,000 from criminal forfeitures to Wyoming County Law Enforcement

Beckley, W.Va. – U. S. Attorney Booth Goodwin and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Special Agent in Charge Thomas Jankowski presented Wyoming County law enforcement agencies with over $200,000 in forfeited cash as a result of their participation in joint investigations with the IRS.  The objective of the federal asset forfeiture program is to take the profit out of crime and give it back to communities.  Forfeiture proceeds are shared with state and local law enforcement agencies as a result of their direct participation in investigations resulting in forfeiture.  The forfeited money shared today resulted from investigations into The New WV Mining Company, James Trent, Brandy Horvath, et al. and Jerry H. Harvey, Jr..   The agencies receiving a share of the forfeiture for their role of the investigations were the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Department - $118,326; Pineville Police Department - $63,034; and the Wyoming County Prosecutor’s Office - $41,468.

As a result of their investigation, Brandy Horvath, President of The New WV Mining Company, Horvath’s then boyfriend James Thomas Trent of Rock View, Wyoming County, and others, were identified as having structured cash withdrawals from the company’s bank accounts.  “Structuring” involves the breaking down of cash transactions in the amount of $10,000 or less for the purpose of avoiding bank reporting requirements to the IRS.  Horvath was named New WV Mining’s president and sole officer of the company to conceal Trent’s interest in the company.  New WV Mining began mining coal for Riverside Energy at a mine near Gary, McDowell County, West Virginia.  Once operations began, Horvath routinely withdrew cash for her and Trent’s personal use from New WV Mining’s bank accounts and intentionally misrepresented the nature of the withdrawals as legitimate business expenses, knowing that the personal cash withdrawals would have been taxable to her. As President of New WV Mining, Horvath signed and caused the company’s accountant to file a corporate income tax return for the year 2008 that she knew failed to disclose the true amount of money she and Trent had taken from the company.  Horvath pleaded guilty to tax evasion, and on behalf of New WV Mining, she pleaded guilty to structuring cash withdrawals from company bank accounts to avoid IRS reporting requirements.  As a result, New WV Mining Company agreed to forfeit $731,581 and a 2011 Nissan 370z.    Trent pleaded guilty to federal income tax fraud for reporting he had no earnings on his 2008 personal income tax return, although he had sold the lease and mining permits of a McDowell County-based mining company he owned for which he received $100,000.  Horvath and Trent were sentenced to 26 months and 36 months in prison, respectively.

Wyoming County law enforcement was also awarded forfeited cash for their contributions to the investigation of Jerry H. Harvey, Jr., of Oceana, West Virginia.  Harvey pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison for aiding and abetting structuring financial transactions to avoid IRS bank reporting requirements.  Harvey admitted that for more than a year he intentionally made multiple bank withdrawals not exceeding $10,000 so the bank would not report the withdrawals to the IRS.  He also admitted that the withdrawn funds were profits he made while engaged in the interstate transportation and receipt of stolen property, from which he gained more than $100,000.  Pursuant to his plea agreement, Harvey forfeited $303,000 to the United States.

Updated June 26, 2015