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W.Va. workers comp auditor sentenced for allowing payroll underreporting

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A West Virginia workers compensation auditor reportedly was sentenced to six years in prison for allowing clients to underreport payroll to Charleston, W.Va.-based insurer BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Co.

Arville W. Sargent of Chapmanville, W.Va., pleaded guilty in March to charges of honest services mail fraud and tax evasion, according to court filings in the U.S. District Court in Charleston, W.Va. His sentencing was held Friday, according to the Charleston Gazette newspaper.

Mr. Sargent was accused of accepting bribes from West Virginia employers to allow them to underreport their payrolls, resulting in artificially low workers comp premiums for the companies.

He received nearly $394,000 in bribes between 2008 and 2010, according to court filings. The scheme resulted in $7.1 million in lost premiums for BrickStreet, the Charleston Gazette said.