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5 in W.Va., Ky. charged in tax fraud scheme

Feb. 12, 2013 @ 02:50 PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A workers' compensation auditor and four coal company contractors are facing federal charges in a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin on Tuesday charged 52-year-old Arville Sargent with mail fraud and tax evasion for allowing companies that provide labor contracting to coal operators in southern West Virginia to underreport their payroll in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash bribes and other items, including an all-terrain vehicle. Sargent was an auditor for BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Company.

The companies involved in the scheme are Aracoma Contracting LLC, Christian Contracting, Newhall Contracting and T&W Services.

Four others in West Virginia and Kentucky were charged with tax evasion for paying workers in cash or through a shell company to avoid paying taxes.

It wasn't immediately clear whether they had attorneys.