Second guilty plea entered in Logan County kickback scheme

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A second Logan County man has plead guilty to federal charges connected to an illegal kickback scheme at Arch Coal’s Mountain Laurel Mining Complex in Logan County.

On Thursday, Alvis Porter, 61, of Holden, was in U.S. District Court in Charleston to plead guilty to charges of failing to collect, account for and pay federal employment taxes for a worker in 2013 and to paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks to the general manager of the mining facility over a span of years.

According to federal prosecutors, Porter owned and operated Quality Oil which did construction work at the Mountain Laurel site. In 2009, he said he started paying the general manager there $5,000 each month so his company would be hired for site work, an amount that later grew to $10,000 per month.

During a four year period, Porter estimated he paid $400,000 in illegal kickbacks.

Separately, he paid a worker $63,000 — under the table — in 2013.

Porter faces up to five years in prison when he’s sentenced on Oct. 16. Additionally, he’ll forfeit $350,000 to the Internal Revenue Service and pay more than $29,000 in restitution to the IRS.

He is the second person to plead guilty to charges for the Mountain Laurel scam.

On Wednesday, Gary Roeher, 52, of Holden, entered a guilty plea to filing false tax returns. He claimed $35,000 he paid in kickbacks through his company — CM Supply — as legitimate business expenses and, additionally, admitted he deducted $43,000 as a business expense when he used that money to install an in-ground swimming pool at his home.

Eight other people are scheduled to plead guilty to separate charges tied to the kickback scheme in the coming weeks. Among them is David Runyon, a former general manager at Arch Coal’s Mountain Laurel Mining Complex. He’s charged with extortion and tax evasion.

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