BUCKHANNON – An Upshur County woman was arrested Monday after allegedly taking more than $23,000 from a relative’s bank account over an approximate 15-month period.
Kelcee Fortney, 26, of Buckhannon, was arrested for computer fraud, a felony.
According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by Trooper F.J. Turansky with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police, on or around Dec. 15, 2022, Turansky began investigating a case involving the alleged financial exploitation of an 82-year-old woman with dementia.
Throughout the course of the investigation, Turansky determined that the woman’s granddaughter, Fortney, was granted access to her bank account via computer to assist in paying bills. Fortney allegedly began transferring funds from the victim’s account without her permission for personal gain, according to the file.
During an interview, Fortney allegedly admitted to using her grandmother’s bank account “even though she knew it was wrong,” the file says. According to the report, she said she used the money to “purchase drugs and for other reasons.” Fortney told police she was sorry and planned to repay the money.
Based on bank statements, Turansky determined Fortney allegedly fraudulently used her grandmother’s bank account 355 separate times on 103 separate calendar dates, for a total of $23,314.72, according to the complaint.
This allegedly occurred within Upshur County between the dates of Dec. 14, 2020, and Feb. 12, 2022.
Upshur County Magistrate Alan Suder set bail at $130,000 cash or surety.
The penalty for a conviction of computer fraud is confinement in the state penitentiary for a determinate sentence of not more than 10 years, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.