Charleston man admits to defrauding charitable non-profit out of hundreds of thousands of dollars

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Charleston man admitted to defrauding a charitable non-profit organization out of over nearly $900,000.

Benjamin Cisco, 30, plead guilty to two counts of wire fraud Tuesday.

Court documents stated that between March 19, 2020 and about September 28, 2022, Cisco defraud the non-profit organization while employed as its finance and operations manager in Belle and Charleston. Cisco was able to control the charity’s finances and had access to its debit cards.

Cisco said his scheme followed a two-step process. First, he would electronically transfer money from the organizations debit cards to its account with the Flipcause crowd-funding platform. Flipcause recorded the transfers as donations. Next, Cisco transferred the money from the Flipcause account to his own personal bank account.

Cisco admitted to making seperate transactions of $4,724 on January 28, 2022, and $2,874 on May 6, 2022 from the Flipcause account to his own bank account. He further admitted to conducting the two-step process over 100 times.

At least $518,101.70 was lost from the victim charity. Cisco also said he took an additional $285,626.64 in unauthorized travel reimbursements and $67,560 in purchased gift cards. The total loss is $871,288.34, which Cisco owes in restitution.

Cisco faces a maxium of 40 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $500,000 fine. His sentence is scheduled for September 13.

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