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Charter bus executive charged with federal fraud

Some Pennsylvania readers will be familiar with King Coal Tours, a charter bus company that offers transportation services to a number of locations throughout the state. The president of that company was recently charged with fraud. That accusation has a number of serious ramifications, and the man charged has had to make a series of difficult decisions regarding how to proceed in the matter. In a recent report, it appears that a choice has been made to accept a plea agreement.

Specifically, the 65-year-old man is accused of submitting over-inflated charges for services provided by his company. The charges were for the time period between 2006 and 2012 and include the cost of nearly 70,000 gallons of diesel fuel. Employee hours, administrative services and even vehicle tires were also allegedly fraudulently billed.

In total, it is unclear just how much is believed to have been unduly charged to the Federal Transit Administration, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and others. The president of the bus company is also accused of having nearly $30,000 wired to a company account in one transaction.   However, the plea agreement gave a range of restitution between $400,000 and $500,000. In taking a plea agreement, the King Coal Tours president will take responsibility for paying back those funds.

In some cases, the risk of conviction connected with a trial is simply too high to take. Individuals facing this scenario often choose to pursue a plea agreement. That seems to be the case here, and many in Pennsylvania can understand the decision to avoid the cost, stress and time investment that would come with taking the fraud case to federal court.    

Source: pennlive.com, "King Coal Tours charter bus company president charged with wire fraud", John Beauge, Oct. 20, 2015

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