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4 ex-coal mine officials cleared in Kentucky fraud trial

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 12:00 PM CST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A federal jury has cleared four former coal company officials who were accused of skirting dust rules in two underground Kentucky mines.

The federal jury in Louisville deliberated Wednesday for about two hours. All four men were found not guilty.

The trial was a rare attempt to prosecute coal company officials on criminal charges.

Defense attorneys had argued that prosecutors lacked evidence that the men conspired to cheat the rules.

The company, Armstrong Coal, went bankrupt in 2017.

Nine people were originally charged in the case, but five reached plea agreements with prosecutors to avoid felony charges.

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