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W.Va. House Votes To Create New Criminal Charges For Counterfeit Lottery Tickets

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The West Virginia House of Delegates advanced a bill on Monday creating new criminal charges for the forgery of a lottery ticket.

Originally, House Bill 2235 made making or using a counterfeit lottery ticket a felony offense.

Delegates voted Monday in favor of an amendment reducing that charge to a misdemeanor, with no more than one year in a state correctional facility.

“If someone was to commit fraud with a $2 dollar scratch-off, they could end up in prison for up to five years,” said Del. Kayla Kessinger, R-Fayette, who proposed the amendment. “This amendment is meant to make the penalty a little more conducive with the severity of the crime.”

Delegates voted 91-8 on passing the bill to the Senate.

Prior to the bill’s passage, House Judiciary Chair Moore Capito told lawmakers a fiscal note from the state Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation, dated June 30, 2020, reported no prisoners sentenced in West Virginia with this crime as their most serious offense.

Because of that, the division wrote that it doesn’t anticipate any significant cost from this bill. However, each prisoner costs the state roughly $55 per day.

The bill now awaits consideration by the Senate.

Emily Allen is a Report for America corps member.

Emily Allen works in Charleston covering the state Legislature and public affairs throughout southern West Virginia.

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