West Virginia Elder Fraud Statutes
In West Virginia, financial exploitation is defined as “the intentional misappropriation or misuse of funds or assets of an elderly person, protected person or incapacitated adult, but shall not apply to a transaction or disposition of funds or assets where the accused made a good-faith effort to assist the elderly person, protected person or incapacitated adult with the management of his or her money or other things of value.”Duty to Report
According to section 9-6-9, certain people have to make a report if they believe an elderly person is the victim of exploitation. These include social service workers, religious healers, and nursing home employees. Anyone else also has the option to make a report. The report should contain the name of the alleged person being exploited, the extent of the abuse, and all other relevant details.
Section 9-6-12 states that anyone who makes a report in good faith “shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability which might otherwise arise solely out of making such report.” If a person obligated to make a report fails to do so, however, this is a misdemeanor. The penalty for this is a fine of up to $100 and/or imprisonment in the county jail for up to 10 days.Protective Services for Exploited Adults
If an elderly person is being exploited, West Virginia has protocols in place to provide assistance. Section 9-6-2 makes it clear that anyone who needs protective services can get it. If a person lacks consent or otherwise can’t accept these services, an emergency order may be issued.Penalties for Financial Exploitation
Depending on the assets involved, West Virginia has two different penalties for financial exploitation:
- If the value of the assets involved is less than $1,000, this is a misdemeanor. Penalties include a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a jail term of up to one year.
- If the value of the assets involved is $1,000 or more, this is a felony. Penalties include a fine of up to $10,000 and a prison sentence between two and 20 years.
If you lost money due to financial exploitation, you have a legal right to try to reclaim it. For information on your options, talk to an experienced elder financial fraud attorney at the Silver Law Group.
For a free consultation, call us at 800-975-4345 or reach us through our online contact form.