ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) — Two Wise County men have been sentenced to prison for falsifying Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) training forms, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Dustin Fannon and Bryan Bouton, both 35, received different sentences for their involvement in the reported fraud case.
An investigation revealed that Fannon had tried to apply for a job at a mining company in August 2016, the DOJ reports. This required him to prove that he had received annual MSHA training. He had not, the statement said.
The release says Fannon submitted a fake form, which had been signed by an MSHA training provider – Button.
Fannon admitted to investigators that he did not receive any training, but instead received the form from Bouton, whom Fannon claimed to have seen sign the form.
Fannon received four months of house arrest for submitting a falsified MSHA training form, and Bouton received three months in prison for his role in creating the form.
The MSHA requires that every miner receive at least eight hours of safety training each year covering several topics, including health and safety standards, transport controls, communication systems, roof or floor control, plans for fighting fires, first aid, electrical hazards and explosives.
“The Department of Justice is committed to protecting the safety of our nation’s minors,” said U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh. “Together with our partners at MSHA and the Department of Labor, we will continue to investigate and prosecute those who endanger coal miners by ignoring essential health and safety training measures.”