United States Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia William J. Ihlenfeld II has confirmed that Sean Chase, 32, received the sentence for making false representations and certifications as well as one count of false statements to a federal agent.

According to investigators, Chase claimed to be a miner foreman with qualifications to perform safety exams at the Ohio County mine when in fact he held no such certification. He also claimed to have taken a mine foreman examination and was issued a foreman card and foreman number.

“We must do everything we can to protect our coal miners, including prosecuting individuals who break the law for their own financial gain,” Ihlenfeld said of Chase’s sentencing.

“Accurate mine operator examinations of workplaces by certified individuals are a cornerstone of the Mine Act, and are required to protect miners from injury, illness and death. MSHA appreciates the efforts of the U.S. Attorney to keep miners safe by holding examiners accountable when they falsify records and attempt to mislead agency investigators,” added Joseph A. Main, Mine Safety and Health Administration assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor, MSHA, and the West Virginia Office of Mine, Health, Safety and Training, and was prosecuted by assistant United States Attorney David J. Perri.