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Man pleads no contest to obtaining goods by false pretenses

August 16, 2010

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A Shepherdstown, W.Va., man accused of stealing an older woman's money while acting as her caretaker entered a no-contest plea Monday to one misdemeanor count of obtaining goods by false pretenses.

Philip P. Meadors, 58, was ordered to pay $22,699 in restitution and sentenced to one year in jail, but was credited for time served, which amounted to about 16 months in jail, according to his attorney, Nicholas Colvin.

A binding plea agreement that was accepted by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Gray Silver III also stipulated that two vehicles -- a 2006 Honda Element and a 1990 Ford recreational vehicle -- purchased by Meadors be sold, with the proceeds going to the victim.

Cash seized from Meadors also is to be credited toward the restitution ordered, according to the agreement.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gregory Jones told the court Monday that the state could prove that Meadors purchased the Honda from a Martinsburg dealership, a camera and a computer for himself the day after opening an account on behalf of the victim, and transferring $180,000 of her money into the account.

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Meadors was indicted in Berkeley County in October on three counts of embezzlement by misuse of power of attorney and three counts of misappropriation of misuse of assets of elder person or incapacitated adult in 2007. He had been indicted in Jefferson County, but those charges have been dismissed, Colvin said.

Meadors befriended the victim and did handyman work for her, according to court records. He told authorities he was her caretaker and that he had power of attorney over her affairs, according to court records.

Police have said the documentation dated Aug. 8, 2007, supporting Meadors' claim of power of attorney was not legal because of the woman's mental incapacity to make such a decision, according to court records.

Kenya Roberts, a protective service worker with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources in Martinsburg, was told in November 2007 by Dr. Robert Webb, the woman's physician, that her dementia and memory loss dated to early 2004, according to court records.

Roberts told police that Meadors, through his power of attorney, was liquidating the woman's assets and depositing large sums of money into a joint checking account that was opened June 15, 2007, under Meadors' and the victim's names at a bank in Washington County.

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