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Shepherdstown man pleads in $180K case

By Staff | Aug 20, 2010

MARTINSBURG – A Shepherdstown man who spent more than a year in jail while awaiting trial on charges that he bilked an elderly woman he cared for out of $180,000 pleaded no contest Monday to one misdemeanor count of obtaining goods by false pretenses.

Philip P. Meadors, 58, of North Princess Street, was indicted in October 2009 by a Berkeley County grand jury on three counts of embezzlement by misuse of power of attorney and three counts of misappropriation or misuse of assets of an elderly person or incapacitated adult.

Those charges were dismissed as part of Monday’s plea agreement.

He was sentenced by West Virginia 23rd Judicial Circuit Court Judge Gray Silver III to one year in jail.

Meadors will not actually serve additional jail time, as he received credit for time already served. He remained in jail for a year while waiting indictment.

The case originated in Jefferson County.

Meadors was arrested Jan. 4, 2008, by Shepherdstown police. He was not indicted until January 2009 for embezzlement by misuse of power of attorney.

He was ordered released from jail on a $100,000 personal recognizance bond in June 2009 by Circuit Court Judge David Sanders. The charges in Jefferson County were later dismissed, after Berkeley County assumed jurisdiction in the case.

Assistant Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Greg Jones told the court Monday that Meadors had a fiduciary relationship with the victim, Dawn E. Beaumont, of 214 N. Princess St., Shepherdstown, and together with Beaumont set up a retirement account at M&T Bank. The charges arose after Meadors was accused of illegally obtaining $180,000 in Beaumont’s retirement money from the account and using it to purchase items, including a 2006 Honda Element and an RV.

Meadors also was ordered to pay $22,699 in restitution. The vehicles Meadors was accused of purchasing with the victim’s money will be seized and sold.

The money from the sale will be credited to Meadors’ court-ordered restitution.