A Virginia man pleaded guilty to helping defraud more than $10 million from a Montana coal mine, according to The Billings Gazette. James Howard Boothe was involved in a scheme to steal $10 million from Signal Peak Energy LLC by overbilling the coal producer for mining equipment and repairs, according to the newspaper. Boothe identified former Signal Peak Energy Vice President Larry Wayne Price Jr. as a partner in the conspiracy.
The charges stemmed from a five-year scheme where Boothe sent fake invoices to Signal Peak, which then paid the money to companies that were controlled by Price, according to the newspaper. Boothe, Price and a third person identified as “JC” received more than $13 million through two companies, which then sent the money to other companies Price controlled.
Price pleaded guilty in December 2018 to three counts of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and false official statement in connection with a scheme to embezzle more than $20 million from three coal-related companies, including Signal Peak Energy.