Sumter County non-profit defrauded of $800,000 by former Financial Officer

Rodney Ellis
Rodney Ellis(Sumter County Detention Center)
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 1:16 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The former Financial Officer of a Sumter non-profit is facing years in federal prison. Investigators said the man defrauded the organization of over $800,000. The case was investigated by the FBI and the Sumter County Sheriff’s Department.

Sumter Behavioral Health Services (SBHS) is a 501c3 non-profit that assists with substance abuse. Rodney Ellis, 71, of Sumter served as the Financial Officer for the organization. Investigators said he defrauded it over a period of eight years by diverting money to his personal bank accounts.


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Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Columbia Special Agent in Charge, Susan Ferensic said, “Ellis used his position of power to take advantage of a system designed to help those with substance abuse challenges.”

Ellis was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison, followed by a three-year period of court supervision. He was also ordered to pay back $812,259.07 to the organization.

“By stealing from an organization that serves those suffering from substance abuse, Ellis took from those he should have been protecting,” said U.S. Attorney Adair F. Boroughs.

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