Wise County, VA court reporter sentenced for lying to agents - WNCN: News, Weather

Wise County, VA court reporter sentenced for lying to agents

Ernest Julius Benko Ernest Julius Benko

ABINGDON, Va. (AP) - A court reporter will spend more than a year in prison for lying to investigators.

U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said Wednesday that 67-year-old Ernest Julius Benko of Norton was sentenced to 15 months in prison on Tuesday in federal court in Abingdon.

Blenko had pleaded guilty in June to obstruction of an official proceeding and conspiracy.

Court records show an attorney under investigation hired Benko in 2009 to record sworn statements from witnesses to falsely represent that the attorney didn't do anything illegal or unethical. He was a court reporter for Wise County Circuit Court at the time.

When questioned by the FBI and Virginia State Police in September 2012, Benko denied knowledge of the attorney's drug use.

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