Last updated: July 23. 2014 5:50PM - 1258 Views
Karissa Blackburn kblackburn@civitasmedia.com

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The last Mountain Laurel Kickback Scheme guilty plea for the month of July has been booked. Chadwick Lusk plead guilty on Monday making him the eighth man involved to do so.

Lusk, 32, of Davin, was charged with honest services mail fraud.

According to the charge, Lusk, while the purchasing agent at Mountain Laurel, defrauded Arch Coal of its right to honest services by receiving illegal cash kickbacks in a crib block kickback scheme. Gary L. Roeher, who owned CM Supply, Co., paid Lusk a portion of the profits for the crib blocks that Arch Coal purchased from CM Supply, Co. to use at Mountain Laurel to provide roof support in the underground mine portion of Mountain Laurel.

Lusk faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 if convicted.

His sentencing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Oct., 29.

Two others still await their hearings: James H. Evans II, 39, of Verdunville, set for August 4, and David E. Runyon, 45, of Delbarton, set for August 7.

According to the Attorney General report, Evans owned and operated Baisden Recyling, which had a contract with Arch Coal to recycle scrap metal at the Mountain Laurel Complex. Evans was charged with conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, as he recycled scrap cable at Mountain Laurel. Evans paid Arch’s $30,000 commission on the scrap cable to Runyon through another Arch employee, Stephen B. Herndon, rather than to Arch. Evans faces up to five years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 if convicted.

Runyon is charged with extorting certain vendors for cash kickbacks in exchange for ensuring that those complicit vendors continued to receive work from Mountain Laurel. As outlined below, Runyon and other Arch employees are charged with receiving kickbacks approaching $2 million over a five-year span from sometime in 2007 through sometime in 2012. Runyon faces up to 25 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $500,000 if convicted.

Both men are expected to plead guilty.

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