U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said February 25 that Ronald Barnette, 54, was recently sentenced to three years of probation, including six months of home confinement, along with a $20,000 fine for lying about paying kickbacks at Arch Coal’s Mountain Laurel mining complex.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston imposed the sentence.
According to Goodwin’s office, Barnette pleaded guilty last July to making a materially false statement in a federal matter when he lied about paying kickbacks to Mountain Laurel General Manager David Runyon. At the time, he was owner and operator of Mining Repair Specialist, 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,” Goodwin said. “Barnette further admitted to lying to agents when asked about paying cash kickbacks.”
Barnette forfeited $400,000 to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in connection with the kickback scheme.
The case stemmed from a larger investigation conducted by the FBI, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the West Virginia State Police.