Bipartisan bill would increase penalty for COVID-19 scammers

West Virginia

WEST VIRGINIA (WDVM) — Senator Shelley Moore Capito is helping to introduce bipartisan legislation that proposes harsher fines and punishment for those who are imposing COVID-19 related scams and frauds.

The Combating Egregious Advertising through Sentencing Enhancement Act, otherwise known as the Cease Act, would increase the Federal Trade Commission’s fines and punishment for false advertising during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Attorney General Morrisey and the Governor have been working on making our law enforcement and also our investigation availability aware of this but you’ve got to be aware of it yourself so you don’t get taken for a ride,” said Capito.

Under the bill, first offenses would be a $50,000 fine and/or up to a year in jail. Repeat offenses would be deemed a felony and the fine would be it $250,000 and/or one to five years in jail.

Capito says that West Virginia is susceptible to such scams and frauds due to the large population of senior citizens who are at high risk for being conned.

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