West Virginia regulators have filed a complaint accusing several top executives of the newly-formed coal mining company Contura of committing fraud.
Contura was created as a new company during Alpha Natural Resources' bankruptcy this year. Contura’s main assets are Alpha’s former mines in Wyoming and its leadership team is composed of former Alpha executives.
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection says those executives deliberately misled the bankruptcy court by failing to disclose more than $100 million worth of Alpha liabilities, including taxes, payroll and royalty payments. The state says it would never have signed off on the company’s plan to emerge from bankruptcy if it had known about those obligations, since it could leave West Virginia taxpayers on the hook for cleaning up Alpha’s mines.
The West Virginia DEP has asked the bankruptcy court to find that Contura CEO Kevin Crutchfield and other executives committed fraud in their submissions to the court.
In a statement, Contura’s Board of Directors called the accusations “inaccurate and defamatory” and said it will defend its executives “to the fullest extent.”