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Oct. sentencing set for 2 in W.Va. mine kickbacks

By The Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Two men are scheduled to be sentenced in October for their roles in a kickback scheme at a West Virginia coal mine.

Stephen B. Herndon, 37, and Scott Ellis, 44, both of Holden, each face up to five years in prison.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin says Herndon and Ellis each pleaded guilty Wednesday to structuring a transaction in order to evade federal reporting requirements.

The men are among 10 people accused of participating in the scheme at Arch Coal’s Mountain Laurel mining complex in Logan County. Federal prosecutors say companies had to pay kickbacks to Arch employees for business at Mountain Laurel.

Goodwin says Herndon and Ellis structured withdrawals of $10,000 or less from various accounts to generate cash to pay kickbacks.

Sentencing is set for Oct. 27.

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