West Virginia Coal Boss Gets New Trial

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (AP) – A second trial for a West Virginia coal boss who’s accused of conducting an illegal campaign finance scheme has been scheduled.

News outlets report, according an order handed down by a U.S. district judge Tuesday, that the second trial for James Laurita Jr. is scheduled for April 13.

The first trial in Laurita’s case ended with a mistrial when a jury couldn’t determine whether he illegally funneled excessive campaign contributions to pro-coal politicians between 2010 and 2013.

Federal prosecutors presented a case they said showed Laurita directed several Mepco LLC executives to make campaign contributions to certain candidates and channeled Mepco funds to the employees under the guise of bonuses.

Prosecutors said the scheme was done in a way that could’ve bypassed annual donation limits without the Federal Election Commission noticing.