CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The leader of a kickback operation at a Logan County mining complex was sentenced Tuesday to spend more than three years in federal prison.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston sentenced David Runyon, 45, of Delbarton, to 41 months in prison for the schemes that were happening at the Mountain Laurel Mining Complex from 2006-2013 when Runyon was the general manager. Runyon previously pleaded guilty.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, center, announced the results of the kickback scheme investigation on May 30, 2014

Photo courtesy WVOW Radio

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, center, announced the results of the kickback scheme investigation on May 30, 2014

Runyon and other Arch Coal employees received cash kickbacks from vendors in exchange for the vendors to continue to get work at the mining operation. U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Runyon received approximately $1 million from four kickback schemes.

“The payment of kickbacks is nothing more than negotiated bribery,” Goodwin said in a news release. “Kickbacks undermine fair and legitimate business practices, eliminate competition and inevitably impact costs passed along to consumers.  These are not victimless crimes, because in the end we all lose when the free market is compromised by such corruption.”

Runyon was ordered to pay Arch Coal $1 million in restitution and more than $300,000 to the IRS in back taxes.

Runyon was the final defendant to be sentenced as part of the operation that was uncovered by the West Virginia State Police, FBI, IRS and investigators with other agencies.

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