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Five operators, miners indicted for check scheme

FIVE West Virginia coal operators and employees have been charged by a grand jury over an alleged $US10 million check-cashing scheme to pay kickbacks to mine supply buyers.

Donna Schmidt
Five operators, miners indicted for check scheme

The scheme had been under investigation by the US Internal Revenue Service and the US Attorney’s Office in Abingdon, according to reports in the Associated Press and local newspaper the Bluefield Daily Telegraph,.

The men charged with conspiracy to violate federal law have been identified as William “Bill” Adams Jr, 53; David Cline, 53; Joshua David Cline, 27; Michael Dunlap, 62; and John Ward, 40.

Mining supply and trucking company owner J D “Dot” McReynolds, 75, has already pleaded guilty to felony charges and is now facing five years in prison and a $US250,000 fine. The AP reported that 16 defendants in total from Virginia and West Virginia had already entered guilty pleas.

The USAO said that the charges stemmed from a check-cashing scheme designed to hide financial withdrawals by operators from coal and coal-related companies, according to the Telegraph.

US attorney Timothy Heaphy said McReynolds gave fraudulent invoices as well as cash to coal operators, including those most recently indicted, and that group paid him a 10% fee by check written to him or one his local businesses.

Heaphy said McReynolds compiled the cash, along with other individuals by structuring over $10 million from Virginia and West Virginia financial institutions, though none of the impacted institutions were identified.

Additionally, the group evaded the mandated outlines for currency transaction reporting by making multiple withdrawals of less than $10,000.

Of the group indicted Monday, Adams has been charged with 15 counts of skirting currency reporting, while David Cline was charged with 22 counts for the same reason.

The junior Cline, Joshua, has received 22 count charges for the currency transactions as well as one count of making false statements under oath.

Fifty-seven counts of wire fraud have been handed down to Dunlap, as well as 24 counts of causing the transportation of $5000 or more in proceeds of fraudulent activity.

Finally, Ward has been given 31 count charges for skirting the reporting requirements on the currency transactions.

Assistant US attorney Randy Ramseyer is prosecuting, and the Telegraph reported that the case was being investigated by the Bristol, Virginia Office of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, with assistance from the US Attorney’s Office in Charleston.

The 16 who have already plead guilty in the check-cashing scheme to date, according to the West Virginia paper, include Sandra Addair, 43; Henry Barnett, 62; David Cordill, 56; Billy Ray Dotson, 58; Darrell Felts, 53; Jeffrey Justus, 60; Charles “C E” McReynolds, 42; Truong Nguyen, 55; Hung Nguyen, 55; Melvin Parsley, 46; Angela Payne, 40; Mike Poskas, 61; David Raber, 52; Clinton Ramey, 55; and Allen Workman, 55.

All 16 are facing five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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