Associated Press Published

Two Plead Guilty in Arch Coal Kickback Scheme

Arch Coal

Two men each face up to five years in prison after admitting that they lied to investigators about a kickback scheme at a coal mine.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin says 53-year-old Ronald Barnette of Holden and 62-year-old Gary Griffith of Oceana both pleaded guilty Monday to making a materially false statement in a federal matter.

Barnette’s company, Mining Repair Specialist, Inc., did equipment rebuild work at Arch Coal’s Mountain Laurel mining complex in Logan County. He admitted that he lied about paying kickbacks to Mountain Laurel’s general manager.

Griffith formerly was the mine’s maintenance manager. He admitted to receiving kickbacks on behalf of himself and the general manager.

Barnette and Griffith are scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 20. They are among 10 men accused of participating in the kickback scheme.