A court hearing that had been scheduled for tomorrow for a former volunteer firefighter accused of embezzling more than $1.5 million from a federal grant, has been postponed until April due to COVID-19. 48 year old
Benjamin Rhine had been scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday morning in Johnstown, but Rhine’s attorney, Michael B. Cohen of Altoona, requested a continuance. The sentencing is now set for April 1st. Rhine… of the Hollidaysburg Phoenix Fire Department, was appointed “coordinator” of a $5.1 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He was employed at a salary of $25,000. The organization was planning to use the grant money to provide equipment and perks to attract more volunteers. Rhine was charged with converting federal funds to his own use and failure to pay income taxes on $1.5 million. When he is finally sentened, he could be facing to up to 10 years in prison.