A Logan County field auditor for BrickStreet Mutual Insurance has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a multi-million dollar fraud he helped orchestrate against his employer.
Arville W. Sargent, 52, of Chapmanville, pleaded guilty Wednesday to honest services mail fraud and tax evasion, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said.
Four other individuals have also entered guilty pleas in connection with the multi-million dollar scheme.
Sargent was indicted by a federal grand jury in February for orchestrating the fraud against Brickstreet, which involved altering workers' compensation premiums and pocketing cash bribes.
Prosecutors said that from January 2006 until at least February 2011, Sargent allowed certain coal mining industry policyholders to drastically underreport their payroll during annual field audits he conducted.
Those companies - Aracoma Contracting LLC, Christian Contracting, Newhall Contracting and T&W Services, LLC - provided labor on a contract basis to coal companies in Southern West Virginia.
Prosecutors said that in exchange for saving those companies millions of dollars in insurance premiums owed to BrickStreet, Sargent accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash bribes and other gifts, including a Yamaha Rhino all-terrain vehicle.
Goodwin said Sargent and his accomplices bilked more than $4 million from Brickstreet over the course of the scheme.