Wise County

Court reporter charged with making false statement

WISE COUNTY, Va. - A circuit court reporter in Wise County faces charges of lying to federal and state investigators.
Ernest Benko is accused of providing false information to an FBI agent when he was questioned about his assignment to record sworn statements from a federal witness in a 2009 drug case.

According to the indictment, an attorney under investigation by the FBI hired Benko to record sworn statements from witnesses to falsely represent that the attorney didn't do anything illegal or unethical.

When questioned in September 2012, the indictment charges that Benko denied knowledge of the attorney's drug use.

Benko was arrested Tuesday on making a false statement and conspiracy charges.

Ernie Benko is also listed as CEO and president of Appalachian Regional Community Television.

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