According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Irene Berger entered her order April 4; in it, she said that the financial outlay on the part of Alpha – which acquired Massey in 2011 and is now working through Chapter 11 bankruptcy – did not occur until a year after Blankenship’s indictment period.
Virginia-based Alpha voluntarily signed a non-prosecution deal after it took over Massey and its mines, the outlet added. The restitution would have covered the legal fees it paid for former Massey workers as well as fines and other associated costs related to the Upper Big Branch mine explosion in 2010 and the investigation that followed.
Blankenship, who stepped down from his post a few months after the blast, was convicted of misdemeanor conspiracy last December. He is scheduled to be sentenced April 6.