State

More alleged corruption. Imprisoned former Kentucky lawmaker faces new charges.

Keith Hall was a state legislator before he was convicted and started his current federal prison term. Now, he has been charged again.
Keith Hall was a state legislator before he was convicted and started his current federal prison term. Now, he has been charged again.

Former state Rep. W. Keith Hall used fake documents to convince a customer that he had insurance so he could keep a contract, a federal grand jury has charged.

Hall, 58, is serving a seven-year prison sentence for a June 2015 conviction for bribing an inspector to overlook violations at his surface coal mines.

He could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the most serious of the new charges.

The indictment returned Thursday involves a Pike County company called S&H Chemical Co. LLC, which supplied chemicals and water-treatment products to coal companies.

The company’s owners were listed in the indictment as S.H. and J.H., with J.H. identified as Hall’s son.

Hall owned coal companies that operated in conjunction with S&H Chemical, and Hall “generally oversaw” the operation of S&H, the indictment said.

B&W Resources, a London mining company that bought chemicals from S&H, required vendors to show proof that they had valid liability and workers compensation insurance, the indictment said.

When B&W requested proof of insurance from S&H in April 2015, Hall cooked up a scheme to fool the company by submitting falsified documents, according to the indictment.

Hall allegedly gave B&W at least four fake certificates showing that S&H had insurance.

The documents were prepared by taking valid insurance certificates issued to another company and pasting the name S&H Chemical Ky LLC over the name of the other company, then changing dates as needed, according to the indictment.

Hall either made up the fake documents himself or had them prepared at his direction, according to the indictment.

The grand jury charged Hall with three counts of wire fraud. Those were based on him allegedly sending emails that included fraudulent insurance documents or explanations of the coverage.

Hall also is charged with two counts of identify theft for allegedly using other people’s names in connection with the fake documents. One count of lying to the FBI was added because Hall allegedly told an agent that someone else provided the insurance documents to him and that he didn’t examine them.

That happened last December in McCreary County, where Hall is serving his prison term.

Hall, a Democrat, was a state representative from Pike County for 14 years before being defeated for re-election in 2014.

He was indicted in federal court that year for allegedly funneling $46,000 to Kelly Shortridge, a state surface-mine inspector, so that Shortridge would ignore or delay enforcement of environmental violations at Hall’s mines.

Shortridge also let Hall mine coal outside the area covered by a permit.

Shortridge pleaded guilty and testified against Hall. Shortridge was sentenced to two years in prison.

Hall adamantly denied the allegations and sought a new trial after he was convicted, but U.S. District Court Judge Karen K. Caldwell turned him down.

A federal appeals panel also upheld his conviction.

Hall is scheduled to be released from prison in June 2022 in that case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Taylor is handling the new charges against Hall, who is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 1.

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