Wise County

Southwest Virginia court reporter sentenced

WISE COUNTY, Va. - A southwest  Virginia court reporter has been sentenced for obstructing justice.

Ernest Benko, 66, of Norton, Va. was accused of lying to investigators in the case of a Wise County attorney charged with obtaining controlled substances by fraud.

Benko was hired by that attorney in May 2009 to record sworn statements in the attorney's case, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

Investigators later determined those statements were false.

Benko lied during interrogations with FBI agents and Virginia State Police, said the U.S. Attorney.

Benko pleaded guilty in June.

A judge sentenced him Tuesday to 15 months in prison.

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