6 sentenced in Alpha false billing scheme - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

6 sentenced in Alpha false billing scheme

Posted:
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A total of six individuals have been sentenced for their roles in a major false billing scheme involving sourcing agents at former Massey Legacy Mines ("Massey") -- now Alpha Natural Resources ("Alpha") -- and certain companies that provided supplies, equipment, and services to Alpha, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced today.
 
Donald Bryan Steele, the former owner of M&S Hydraulics, a major Alpha supplier, was sentenced today to 18 months in federal prison. Steele, 43, of Barboursville, previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aiding and abetting in connection with the fraud scheme. 
When approached by law enforcement in February 2013, Steele admitted to investigators that during the scheme, he illegally provided cash and other things of value to former Massey sourcing agents Joey R. Phalin, Edward Ellis Mullins, and Nicholas R. Coleman, in exchange for bogus invoices for payment that M&S Hydraulics knowingly had not provided.  Between at least July 2007 through 2012, Steele falsely billed, through the sourcing agents, approximately $1.3 million for goods and services that were not provided. 
The sourcing agents, who were generally responsible for ordering goods and services for mining operations from Alpha suppliers, participated in the illegal scheme to obtain goods for their own personal benefit.  The sourcing agents hid numerous illegal transactions by creating false invoices. 
 
Phalin, 36, of Crab Orchard, W.Va., was sentenced today to five years' probation, the first three months of which are to be served on home confinement.  Mullins, 41, of Peytona, W.Va., was sentenced yesterday to five years' probation, the first ten months of which are to be served on home confinement.  Coleman, 29, of Lester, W.Va. was sentenced yesterday to five years' probation for his role in the scheme.
 
Through his cooperation, Steele identified other sourcing agents involved in the scheme.  Last week, former sourcing agent Ricky R. Smith, of 49, Glen Daniels, was sentenced to 1 ½ years in federal prison.  James Rodger Long II, 34, of Beckley, also a sourcing agent, was sentenced to 1 ½ years in prison. 
 
Harold Wayne Brown, II, a former Alpha underground maintenance chief, previously pleaded guilty to making a false statement to federal authorities regarding benefits he had received from the false billing scheme.  Brown, II, 41, of Madison, W.Va. is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 21, 2014.  
 
The investigation was conducted by the FBI and the West Virginia State Police with cooperation from Alpha Natural Resource's internal security team.  Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Ryan is in charge of the prosecutions. 
 
In June 2011, Alpha Natural Resources finalized the purchase of Massey, including the mining divisions located along WV Route 3 in Boone and Raleigh counties. 
  • NEWSMore>>

  • Persons of Interest Sought in Triple Shooting

    Persons of Interest Sought in Triple Shooting

    Beckley (WVVA) -- Police now say they have persons of interest after a triple shooting in Beckley...More >>
    Beckley (WVVA) -- Police now say they have persons of interest after a triple shooting in Beckley...More >>
  • Suicide Prevention Walk Scheduled for This Week

    Suicide Prevention Walk Scheduled for This Week

    BLUEFIELD (WVVA)- The 5th annual Out of the Darkness Walk is scheduled for September 6, 2014 in Bluefield, WV. Out of the Darkness is an organization that devotes their time to suicide prevention, awareness and education.It is free to register. Registration will be on the day of the event from 5:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. There will be entertainment until the walk begins at 6:30 p.m.More >>
    BLUEFIELD (WVVA)- The 5th annual Out of the Darkness Walk is scheduled for September 6, 2014 in Bluefield, WV. Out of the Darkness is an organization that devotes their time to suicide prevention, awareness and education.It is free to register. Registration will be on the day of the event from 5:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. There will be entertainment until the walk begins at 6:30 p.m.More >>
  • Organizers say the Lemonade Festival has been successful

    Organizers say the Lemonade Festival has been successful

    BLUEFIELD (WVVA)- The Lemonade Festival wrapped up on Saturday, August 30th. The two day event offered an array of options for entertainment. From live music, to a parade, shopping and much more there was something for everyone. Organizers say this year's event was more successful than last.Lemonade Festival Chair Person, Kelly Knowles says, "It's amazing, a night and day difference between the way the street looks this year and what it looked like last year. So, I think it's important to get...More >>
    BLUEFIELD (WVVA)- The Lemonade Festival wrapped up on Saturday, August 30th. The two day event offered an array of options for entertainment. From live music, to a parade, shopping and much more there was something for everyone. Organizers say this year's event was more successful than last.Lemonade Festival Chair Person, Kelly Knowles says, "It's amazing, a night and day difference between the way the street looks this year and what it looked like last year. So, I think it's important to get...More >>
  • Senior Alert Issued in Frederick Co. VA

    Senior Alert Issued in Frederick Co. VA

    FREDERICK CO. (WVVA)- The Virginia State Police have issued a senior alert on behalf of the Frederick County Sheriff's Office.According to a press release, Frederick Sheriff's Deputies are searching for Sandra Lee Starr, 72. Starr was last seen on August 29, 2014 at Hilltop House Assisted Living Center in Frederick County. She is said to be 5'4", weighing 100 lbs, with blue eyes and gray hair.The press release states, "The missing senior suffers from a cognitive impairment and the disappearan...More >>
    FREDERICK CO. (WVVA)- The Virginia State Police have issued a senior alert on behalf of the Frederick County Sheriff's Office.According to a press release, Frederick Sheriff's Deputies are searching for Sandra Lee Starr, 72. Starr was last seen on August 29, 2014 at Hilltop House Assisted Living Center in Frederick County. She is said to be 5'4", weighing 100 lbs, with blue eyes and gray hair.The press release states, "The missing senior suffers from a cognitive impairment and the disappearan...More >>
  • Highway dedicated to fallen soldier

    Highway dedicated to fallen soldier

    HINTON, WV (WVVA) -On October 23, 1983 more than 200 American soldiers lost their lives in a bombing in Beirut, Lebanon."A terrorist drove a truck laden with 20,000 pounds of propane gas which killed 220 marines, 18 sailors, and 3 army soldiers." Retired Marine Sergeant Malcom Howell remembers vividly the day that a suicide bomber drove right into a building with his best friend inside.Sergeant Mecot Camara was one of the 241 killed. Thirty years later, a highway in his home town is being ded...More >>
    HINTON, WV (WVVA) -On October 23, 1983 more than 200 American soldiers lost their lives in a bombing in Beirut, Lebanon."A terrorist drove a truck laden with 20,000 pounds of propane gas which killed 220 marines, 18 sailors, and 3 army soldiers." Retired Marine Sergeant Malcom Howell remembers vividly the day that a suicide bomber drove right into a building with his best friend inside.Sergeant Mecot Camara was one of the 241 killed. Thirty years later, a highway in his home town is being ded...More >>
  • Teachers at North Tazewell Elementary take the 'ice bucket challenge'

    Teachers at North Tazewell Elementary take the 'ice bucket challenge'

    NORTH TAZEWELL (WVVA) Teachers at North Tazewell Elementary School decided to take the 'ice bucket challenge. More than 20 teachers and staff took part in the challenge Friday...More >>
    NORTH TAZEWELL (WVVA) Teachers at North Tazewell Elementary School decided to take the 'ice bucket challenge. More than 20 teachers and staff took part in the challenge Friday...More >>
  • Firefighter injured in Greenbrier Co. now recovering

    Firefighter injured in Greenbrier Co. now recovering

    A firefighter is recovering at home after being life flighted out on Monday.  The Smoot Volunteer Fire Department in Greenbrier County says one of its men went out to fuel up the truck Monday evening...More >>
    A firefighter is recovering at home after being life flighted out on Monday.  The Smoot Volunteer Fire Department in Greenbrier County says one of its men went out to fuel up the truck Monday evening...More >>
  • WV educational leaders address business summit

    WV educational leaders address business summit

    WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS (WVVA) -Common Core, technology, and dropouts were some of the most controversial topics educators discussed Friday at The Greenbrier Resort.The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce wrapped up its annual summit, but not before those attending heard from the state's educational leaders.The education symposium consisted of a panel of experts in education within the state, from the Board of Education President, Gayle Manchin, to the new superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano and...More >>
    WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS (WVVA) -Common Core, technology, and dropouts were some of the most controversial topics educators discussed Friday at The Greenbrier Resort.The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce wrapped up its annual summit, but not before those attending heard from the state's educational leaders.The education symposium consisted of a panel of experts in education within the state, from the Board of Education President, Gayle Manchin, to the new superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano and...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WVVA.
All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Audrey Sluss at (304) 324-0659. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.