Coal Tattoo

Trial turns to SEC charges

Testimony in the Don Blankenship case returned this afternoon to allegations of a false statement and securities fraud against the former Massey Energy CEO

John PomaJohn Poma, a former Massey chief administrative officer, took the stand as the government’s 25th witness on the 21st day of the trial.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg McVey questioned Poma about a Massey statement to shareholders issued after the 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine disaster.

Prosecutors allege part of the statement – saying Massey did not condone safety violations – was false. They allege Blankenship engineered the false statement to try to stop Massey’s stock price from plunging following the explosion.

Poma testified that Blankenship approved the statement but on cross-examination by defense lawyer Eric Delinsky, Poma said Blankenship did not write the statement or make any edits.