Former Finance Manager Sentenced for Stealing Funds from Nonprofit Helping West Virginia Disaster Victims

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Former Finance Manager Sentenced for Stealing 1,000 from Nonprofit Helping West Virginia Disaster Victims

West Virginia University Vice President Rob Alsop is set to resign.

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West Virginia University Vice President Rob Alsop is set to resign.

A former finance manager of a nonprofit organization that assists West Virginia disaster victims has been sentenced to over three years in prison for stealing 1,000 from the group.

The Theft and Sentencing

Benjamin Cisco, a 30-year-old resident of Charleston, was sentenced in federal court after pleading guilty to two counts of wire fraud in May 2023. The court ordered him to pay full restitution for his crimes.

Cisco served as a finance and operations manager for the state chapter of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), a nonprofit based in Arlington, Virginia.

According to court records, Cisco transferred money from the nonprofit’s accounts over 100 times for personal use. He also claimed unauthorized travel reimbursements.

Assistance to West Virginia Disaster Victims

VOAD’s state chapter played a crucial role in rebuilding bridges and homes after the devastating 2016 floods in West Virginia, which claimed the lives of 23 individuals.

The organization has received more than million in funding since 2016, prompting state lawmakers to request an audit of their finances.

Consequences of the Theft

The theft of 1,000 severely impacted the ability of VOAD to provide essential assistance to disaster victims in West Virginia. These funds could have been used to support ongoing recovery efforts and help individuals and communities rebuild their lives.

The sentencing of Benjamin Cisco serves as a reminder that those who exploit charitable organizations for personal gain will face serious legal consequences.

Conclusion

The case of Benjamin Cisco highlights the importance of ensuring the financial integrity of nonprofit organizations that provide vital assistance to disaster-affected communities. As West Virginia continues to recover from past disasters and prepare for future challenges, it is crucial to hold individuals accountable for their actions and safeguard the resources meant for those in need.