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Ryan Thorpe

Ryan Thorpe, the former Zeigler treasurer investigated by the FBI for defrauding the city of more than $300,000, leaves U.S. Federal Court after being sentenced to 48 months in federal prison on Tuesday in Benton.

BENTON — Ryan Thorpe, the disgraced former Zeigler treasurer, has been sentenced to serve 48 months in federal prison for embezzling more than $300,000 from the city over about a four-year period.

An FBI raid of Zeigler City Hall last August started a cascade of revelations among citizens and city officials as details emerged over weeks and months about the actions of the man who served as the city’s treasurer and dog catcher.

Information released by the city and investigators revealed that Thorpe had falsified city records and reports to the council — he was using a scheme of “whiting out” payee lines on checks destined for vendors and writing in his name, only to file a copy of the original check for the records. He would then shred the originals.

It also came to light that he would use his power to “bully” — in the words of Zeigler’s city attorney Rebecca Whittington — the co-signatories into signing blank checks that he would later write to himself.

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