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§36-8-20. Requests for reports and examination of records.

(a) The administrator, or the administrator's designated agent, may require a person who has not filed a report, or a person who the administrator believes has filed an inaccurate, incomplete or false report, to file a verified report in a form specified by the administrator. The report must state whether the person is holding property reportable under this article, describe property not previously reported or as to which the administrator has made inquiry and specifically identify and state the amounts of property that may be in issue.

(b) The administrator, or the administrator's designated agent, at reasonable times and upon reasonable notice, may examine the records of any person to determine whether the person has complied with this article. The administrator may conduct the examination even if the person believes it is not in possession of any property that must be reported, paid or delivered under this article. The administrator may contract with any other person to conduct the examination on behalf of the administrator. However, this subsection shall not be construed to grant the administrator the right to examine the records of a national banking association to an extent greater than permitted by applicable federal law, nor shall this subsection permit the records of any bank chartered or incorporated under the laws of any state to be subject to examination to an extent greater than the examination permitted of the records of a national banking association under applicable federal law.

(c) The administrator, or the administrator's agent, at reasonable times may examine the records of an agent, including a dividend disbursing agent or transfer agent, of a business association or financial association that is the holder of property presumed abandoned if the administrator, or the administrator's agent, has given the notice required by subsection (b) of this section to both the association or organization and the agent at least ninety days before the examination.

(d) Documents and working papers obtained or compiled by the administrator, or the administrator's agents, employees or designated representatives, in the course of conducting an examination are confidential and are not public records, but the documents and papers may be:

(1) Used by the administrator or the administrator's attorney in the course of an action to collect unclaimed property or otherwise enforce this article;

(2) Used in joint examinations conducted with or pursuant to an agreement with another state, the federal government or any other governmental subdivision, agency or instrumentality;

(3) Produced pursuant to subpoena or court order; or

(4) Disclosed to the abandoned property office of another state for that state's use in circumstances equivalent to those described in this subdivision, if the other state is bound to keep the documents and papers confidential.

(e) If an examination of the records of a person results in the disclosure of property reportable under this article, the administrator may assess the cost of the examination against the holder at the rate of $200 a day for each examiner, or a greater amount that is reasonable and was incurred, but the assessment may not exceed the value of the property found to be reportable. The cost of an examination made pursuant to subsection (c) of this section may be assessed only against the business association or financial organization.

(f) If, after the effective date of this article, a holder does not maintain the records required by section twenty-one of this article and the records of the holder available for the periods subject to this article are insufficient to permit the preparation of a report, the administrator may require the holder to report and pay to the administrator the amount the administrator reasonably estimates, on the basis of any available records of the holder or by any other reasonable method of estimation, should have been but was not reported.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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