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Aracoma Contracting executive pleads guilty to structuring millions in cash withdrawals

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U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced Nov. 6 a top executive with the Williamson-based employee leasing firm, Aracoma Contracting LLC, pleaded guilty to a federal charge in connection with a structuring scheme.

The scheme involved more than $2 million in cash withdrawals from the company's bank accounts once held at a Mingo County bank.

Jerome Edward Russell, 50, of Williamson pleaded guilty on behalf of the company to breaking down cash transactions in amounts of $10,000 or less to avoid an IRS reporting requirement.

Russell and another Aracoma executive — Frelin R. Workman, 58, of Belfry, Ky. — previously pleaded guilty to their involvement in an honest services mail fraud scheme to defraud BrickStree Mutual Insurance of insurance premiums and tax evasion.

Russell and Workman each were previously sentenced to more than two years in prison for their roles in the scheme.

Russell and Workman formed a longstanding relationship with the Bank of Mingo, on behalf of Aracoma, and from January 2009 through April 2012, Aracoma employees structured at least $2.2 million out of Bank of Mingo. Russell and Workman also enlisted the help of a number of individuals who agreed to appear at the Williamson branch of Bank of Mingo and cash cashier's checks, according to information from Goodwin. The cash from the bank withdrawals was later brought back to Aracoma's office to be used to pay cash payroll.