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Former manager of WV disaster recovery group sentenced to over 3 years for theft

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A former finance manager of a nonprofit organization that assists West Virginia disaster victims was sentenced Thursday to more than three years in prison for the theft of $871,000 from the group.

Benjamin Cisco, 30, of Charleston was sentenced in federal court for his May 2023 guilty plea to two counts of wire fraud. He was ordered to pay full restitution.

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

Cisco was a finance and operations manager for the state chapter of the Arlington, Virginia-based Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, or VOAD.

Court records showed Cisco transferred money from the nonprofit’s accounts more than 100 times for his personal use and claimed travel reimbursements he wasn’t authorized to receive.

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Among its work, VOAD’s state chapter was heavily involved in rebuilding bridges and homes after 2016 floods decimated parts of the state and left 23 people dead.

State lawmakers recently requested an audit of the group, which has received more than $27 million in funding since 2016.

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