Ohio woman, ex-W. Va. nonprofit finance chief sentenced for theft

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A former employee of a West Virginia nonprofit organization has been sentenced to seven years in prison for millions of dollars in thefts.

Ruth Marie Phillips, 69, of Chesapeake, Ohio, was sentenced Monday in federal court in Huntington.

Phillips admitted in September that she stole funding from the River Valley Child Development Services in Huntington, which provides programs and services to children and families.

Phillips was director of business and finance at the organization for more than 30 years and was responsible for all financial operations, according to court records.

The organization received more than $7 million in federal funding from July 2016 to June 2017 and Phillips used her position of trust and authority to steal nearly $1 million in that time span, prosecutors said. She also admitted to stealing more than $4.7 million from the organization from December 2013 through August 2020.

Phillips has agreed to forfeit hundreds of thousands of dollars from the sale of homes, airplanes and several vehicles. The full amount of restitution will be determined at a hearing in April.