Virginia man gets 3 years in prison in coal mine fraud case

BILLINGS, Mont. — A jury has sentenced a Virginia man to three years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his part in a scheme to defraud a Montana coal mine of more than $10 million.

The Billings Gazette reported John Howard Boothe Jr. was also ordered Tuesday to pay $285,000 in restitution to Signal Peak Energy LLC, the company that owned the mine.

Boothe pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to commit money laundering in a scheme between 2013 and 2018 to overbill the mine and conduct fake sales for equipment that wouldn’t be delivered.

His attorneys Dennis Lee and Aaron Gillespie did not immediately return requests for comment.

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