WVC 47 -
CHAPTER 47. REGULATION OF TRADE.
WVC 47 - 15 -
ARTICLE 15. PYRAMID PROMOTIONAL SCHEME.
WVC 47 - 15 - 1
(a) "Pyramid promotional scheme" shall mean the organization
of any chain letter club, pyramid club, or other group organized
or brought together under any plan or device whereby fees or dues
or anything of material value to be paid or given by members
thereof are to be paid or given to any other member thereof,
which plan or device includes any provision for the increase in
such membership through a chain process of any members securing
other new members and thereby advancing themselves in the group
to a position where such members in turn receive fees, dues or
things of material value from other members.
(b) "Promote" or "promotion" shall mean the initiation,
preparation, operation, advertisement, or the recruitment of any
person or persons in the furtherance of any pyramid promotional
scheme as defined in subsection (a) of this section.
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§47-15-2. Unlawful act.
No person shall promote any pyramid promotional scheme,
either personally or through an agent or agents.
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§47-15-3. Contracts void and unenforceable.
All contracts and agreements entered into after the
effective date of this article wherein the whole or any part of
the consideration of such contract or agreement is given in
exchange for the right to participate in any pyramid promotional
scheme are hereby declared to be against public policy and are
hereby declared to be void and unenforceable.
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§47-15-4. Restraining prohibited acts.
The prosecuting attorney of any county or the attorney
general, or any person, may petition the circuit court to enjoin
the continued operation of any pyramid promotional scheme as
defined in this article. The procedure in any such suit shall be
the same as the procedure in other suits for equitable relief,
except that no bond shall be required upon the granting of either
a temporary or permanent injunction therein, when such
proceedings are initiated by a prosecuting attorney of any county
or the attorney general.
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§47-15-5. Criminal penalties.
Any person who shall violate the provisions of this article
shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof,
shall be fined not less than three hundred nor more than one
thousand dollars, or confined in jail for a period not to exceed
six months, or both.
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If any provision of this article is declared
unconstitutional or the application thereof to any person or
circumstance is held invalid, the constitutionality of the
remainder of the article and the applicability thereof to other
persons and circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session