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Mass., firm settle fraud allegations

Massey Energy Co., which is now doing business as Alpha Appalachia Holdings Inc., has agreed to a $265 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit that alleged that the coal mining company misled investors, including the state's pension fund, officials in the Massachusetts Treasury and the attorney general's office said Monday.

The Massachusetts state pension fund served as lead plaintiff in a case brought by many investors. The size of the pension fund's share of the settlement has yet to be determined, a spokesman said.

The defendant did not admit to any wrongdoing in the settlement.

According to the lawsuit, Massey made misrepresentations about its safety record that artificially inflated its stock price. When a 2010 mine explosion killed 29 employees, an ensuing investigation uncovered hundreds of safety violations that caused the company's stock to plunge, a press release from the office of state Treasurer Steven Grossman said.


In a separate statement, Attorney General Martha Coakley said, "Businesses must be truthful and honest with investors, and our office will continue working to ensure we protect these important public funds."

Chris Reidy