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West Virginia mine kickback scheme plea hearing Thursday

CHARLESTON (AP) — A Delbarton man at the center of an alleged kickback scheme at an Arch Coal mine in southern West Virginia is expected to plead guilty.

David Runyon is scheduled for a plea hearing Thursday in U.S. District Court in Charleston. He faces up to 25 years in prison and $500,000 in fines if convicted of extortion and tax evasion.

Federal prosecutors say companies had to pay kickbacks to Arch employees for business at the Mountain Laurel mining complex.

Prosecutors say kickbacks totaled nearly $2 million from 2007 to 2012 at the Logan County complex.

Runyon was the general manager at Mountain Laurel.

Ten men face various charges related to the kickback scheme.

Four are former Arch employees. The rest were contractors and vendors.

Several have already pleaded guilty.

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