CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A man who stole nearly $900,00 from a key group in responding to disasters in West Virginia is going to federal prison.

Benjamin Cisco, 31, was sentenced to 41 months behind bars for taking the money from West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD) when he was the group’s finance and operations manager at its Quincy and Charleston locations.

Benjamin Cisco at the federal courthouse in Charleston Thursday. (Photo/WCHS-TV)

Cisco previously pleaded guilty to fraud charges.

Cisco took money from March 2020 to September 2022 by electronically diverting money to purchase gift cards using the VOAD account. He also got reimbursed for travel when he shouldn’t have.

Federal prosecutors said Cisco would use a two-step process to commit the fraud and he did that more than 100 times.

U.S. District Judge Irene Berger sentenced Cisco and ordered him to pay $871,288.34 in restitution.

WV VOAD Board of Directors released a statement Thursday afternoon following Cisco’s sentencing.

“The recent experience has underscored the need to review and improve practices in our operational management. We have implemented more robust operational procedures designed to proactively safeguard against financial misconduct,” the board said. “Recognizing the paramount importance of rebuilding trust within our community and among our valued supporters, we are fully committed to transparency and accountability.”

U.S. Attorney Will Thompson said Cisco took money that was given to help West Virginia residents who had lived through a disaster.

“After spending six years with the victim charity, Mr. Cisco knew the real-life consequences of disaster but still chose to misspend the victim charity’s money on personal expenses, household items, Lowe’s gift cards, and luxurious vacations to Disney World,” Thompson said. “Mr. Cisco’s actions personified greed and the Court acknowledged that by giving him a sentence at the upper limit of the sentencing guidelines.”

WV VOAD said it remains committed to being a good steward of funds given to the organization.

“Looking ahead, WV VOAD remains steadfast in the prudent stewardship of all resources entrusted to us to be utilized responsibly and ethically. We sincerely appreciate the continued support of our community, and our partners, as we navigate these challenges, reaffirming our unwavering dedication to aiding West Virginians during times of crisis induced by unforeseen disasters,” the board of directors said.