CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Aracoma Contracting, a company based in Mingo County, will spend three years on probation and pay more than $4 million in restitution along with forfeiting $405,000 for a structuring scheme that involved more than $2 million in accounts the company once held at the Bank of Mingo.

Jerome Russell, 50, of Williamson, an executive for Aracoma Contracting, which is an employee leasing company, represented the company itself in U.S. District Court during an October plea hearing.

The company was sentenced on Tuesday.

Federal prosecutors said the company was using structuring, with the help of an employee at the Bank of Mingo, to break down cash transactions to amounts of $10,000 or less to avoid the Internal Revenue Service’s reporting requirements between 2009 and 2012.

Russell, along with Frelin Workman, 58, of Belfry, Ky., have already plead guilty and been sentenced, as individuals, to a scheme to defraud BrickStreet Insurance, a workers’ compensation insurance provider, and were sentenced to prison time for it.

In the structuring scheme, investigators found the two broke down at least $2.2 million out of the Bank of Mingo themselves and with the help of a number of other people.

The cash withdrawals, which were prepared in advance, were later used to pay workers so the company could avoid the payment of employment taxes and fund bribes for a former BrickStreet auditor.

That auditor, Arville Sargent, 52, of Chapmanville, plead guilty to fraud and tax evasion in March for allowing Aracoma and other companies to falsify documents to understate how many people they employed.  Last October, he was sentenced to six years in federal prison.

During Tuesday’s sentencing, Aracoma was held liable for the $4 million owed to BrickStreet Insurance and West Virginia.

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  • Independent View

    If these dudes were smart enough to fool federal officials and state banking officials for years, what would lead one to believe that the Feds will ever see a dime of the "restitution" money.
    Get a grip on reality, it's Mingo County, the rules are, "there are no rules, we'll make 'em up as we go."