EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSBRICKSTREET AUDITOR CHARGES
from Eyewitness News Online
Auditor With Brickstreet Faces Charges In Alleged Insurance Premium Scheme
Reported by: Kennie Bass
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Feb. 12, 2013 5:45 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 13, 2013 8:57 AM EST
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
An auditor with Brickstreet Insurance is facing charges he helped several coal contracting companies lie about their payroll so they could save money on their insurance premiums.
Investigators said Arville Sargent, 52, of Chapmanville was part of a plan to defraud Brickstreet of millions of dollars in premiums, and that because of the scheme the safety of miners was put at risk.
Sargent is charged with two counts of allowing Brickstreet policyholders to underreport their payroll during audits Brickstreet conducted to make sure companies were paying accurate premiums.
Investigators said he started the practice in 2006 and kept it up for five years. Sargent allegedly allowed four companies to fake their job numbers, saving millions in premiums. In return, he allegedly received hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and merchandise. U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said that's dangerous because money designed to protect workers if they get injured wasn't being paid.
Brickstreet declined to talk about the situation on camera, but Greg Burton, president and chief executive officer, no Brickstreet policyholders lost money because of the alleged scheme.
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