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house Bill H.R. 450

Should Defrauding Veterans Be Criminalized?

Argument in favor

Veterans — especially those in low-income housing and assisted living facilities — are one of the most vulnerable populations in the U.S., and they should be protected against fraudsters targeting their well-deserved veterans’ benefits.

Ken's Opinion
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02/07/2019
Talk about defrauding. We have a president that is attempting to redefine dignity and respect and honesty to mean anything Donald does or says. The blemish in our highest political level has tarnished every level of our political scene. You can't just unsee corruption.
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TomWalsh's Opinion
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02/07/2019
Absolutely and while your at it take the 5 billion for that useless "wall" and give housing to all the homeless veterans
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Thomas's Opinion
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02/07/2019
Veterans deserve the very best from us always in regards to everything. We can never thank them enough!!
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Argument opposed

Financial fraud is already a crime in all fifty states, so there shouldn’t be a need for another specific federal law criminalizing fraud against veterans. The crimes described in this bill should already be illegal in all states.

Glowurm's Opinion
···
02/07/2019
Isn’t it a crime to defraud anyone already? Just more useless shit, trying to make it look like they’re doing something? Where are the education, healthcare, climate change, air and water pollution, etc., bills? Quit this bullshit and get on to something of substance, you assholes!
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Gypsy's Opinion
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02/07/2019
Why do we we have to have a law for every particular thing. Why don’t we just enforce the laws that are already on the books. The same severe sentence for white collar crime.
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burrkitty's Opinion
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02/07/2019
We already have fraud laws and they apply to everyone already. Some animals are NOT more equal than other. No.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
  • The house Passed February 7th, 2019
    Roll Call Vote 417 Yea / 0 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedJanuary 10th, 2019

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What is House Bill H.R. 450?

This bill — the Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act of 2019 — would make it a crime to knowingly engage in any scheme to defraud a veteran of his or her veterans’ benefits, or to knowingly engage in fraud in connection with obtaining veterans’ benefits for that individual. Anyone convicted of defrauding veterans could be fined, imprisoned for up to five years, or both.  

Impact

Veterans; fraudsters; veterans’ benefits; law enforcement; and the VA.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 450

$0.00
When this bill was introduced in the 115th Congress, the CBO estimated that it wouldn’t cost any significant money to enact, since it’d apply to a relatively small number of offenders.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to crack down on fraudsters targeting veterans. When he originally introduced this bill in the 115th Congress, Rep. Deutch said pension poaching was becoming increasingly commonplace and sophisticated:

"Pension poaching is not only illegal, it's a despicable and immoral practice. These scammers are getting more and more sophisticated in how they identify and deceive vulnerable veterans with lofty promises to help them with their pensions while charging outrageous fees."

After this bill passed the House in March 2018, Rep. Deutch added that “con artists looking to steal veterans’ hard-earned pensions must face penalties for these illegal practices.”

Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL), who was a cosponsor of this bill in the previous Congress, added:

“Anybody who seeks to financially exploit the men and women who have served our country and cheat them out of their hard-earned VA benefits should answer to their wrongdoings and face harsh punishments for their crimes. Frankly, it’s appalling that there are people out there who are targeting our veterans, especially those in low-income housing or those who are elderly. This commonsense legislation will help give prosecutors the tools they need to go after these criminals and protect our those who have done so much and risked their lives to serve our country.”

The Reserve Officers Association (ROA) supported this bill in the 115th Congress, writing:

“The VA administration faces increasing medical appointment backlogs making it difficult for veterans to receive their benefits in a timely fashion. Facing delayed service deliveries, veterans have become impatient and nefarious individuals have sought to take advantage of their frustration. Those who commit fraud will, at times, falsely claim they can guarantee veterans quicker access to their benefits, all the [while] charging them fees for nonexistent services because the appeals process is a stop-by-stop process that includes requirements directed by law and formal rules… This example is illustrative, not encompassing of all the other methods persons use to defraud veterans of their hard-earned benefits. [This bill] recognizes the serious nature of this grave crime and ensures it could be prosecuted at the federal level. Additionally, elevating veteran fraud to a federal crime guarantees the courts will more consistently prosecute it. This makes intuitive sense given that the federal government provides veteran benefits and, thus, fraud against veterans should be taken as fraud against the federal government.”

This bill has one cosponsor, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), in the current Congress. It’s been introduced in each of the past two Congresses (114th and 115th), passing the House in both legislative sessions before dying in the Senate. In the 114th Congress, it passed the House by a 411-0 vote; in the 115th Congress, it passed the House by a voice vote with the support of 26 bipartisan cosponsors, including 18 Republicans and eight Democrats. It’s also enjoyed the support of many veterans organizations, including the Military Order of the Purple Heart and Reserve Officers Association (ROA).


Of NoteThere are approximately 21 million U.S. veterans, over a million of whom service-connected disabilities. Veterans also comprise 17 percent of the U.S. homeless population, with about 50,000 veterans sleeping on the streets on any given night.

In recent years, financial predators have increasingly targeted veterans, particularly those in low-income housing or assisted living facilities, to defraud them of their Veteran’s Affairs (VA) benefits. Currently, only agents or attorneys qualified by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may assess a nominal fee to assist veterans with their appeals cases for benefits. It is illegal for unauthorized individuals to charge veterans a fee for aid in receiving such benefits. However, there are no legal or financial repercussions for those who violate this law, and these scammers often get away with charging veterans exorbitant fees while the veteran has no guarantee that they'll receive any help with their VA benefits.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / KLH49)

AKA

Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act of 2019

Official Title

To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide an additional tool to prevent certain frauds against veterans, and for other purposes.

    Talk about defrauding. We have a president that is attempting to redefine dignity and respect and honesty to mean anything Donald does or says. The blemish in our highest political level has tarnished every level of our political scene. You can't just unsee corruption.
    Like (99)
    Follow
    Share
    Isn’t it a crime to defraud anyone already? Just more useless shit, trying to make it look like they’re doing something? Where are the education, healthcare, climate change, air and water pollution, etc., bills? Quit this bullshit and get on to something of substance, you assholes!
    Like (70)
    Follow
    Share
    Absolutely and while your at it take the 5 billion for that useless "wall" and give housing to all the homeless veterans
    Like (88)
    Follow
    Share
    Why do we we have to have a law for every particular thing. Why don’t we just enforce the laws that are already on the books. The same severe sentence for white collar crime.
    Like (67)
    Follow
    Share
    Veterans deserve the very best from us always in regards to everything. We can never thank them enough!!
    Like (64)
    Follow
    Share
    We already have fraud laws and they apply to everyone already. Some animals are NOT more equal than other. No.
    Like (47)
    Follow
    Share
    Defrauding ANYONE should be illegal!!
    Like (39)
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    Committing fraud against ANYONE is a crime and should be prosecuted whether they are a veteran or the elderly. Enforce the laws we have and don’t waste time on specific groups.
    Like (31)
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    Current laws should already protect these wonderful people. All laws should work for all people.
    Like (25)
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    Fraud is already a crime. Enforcement seems to be the issue.
    Like (12)
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    Fraud laws already exist and this is special interests focused. Politician’s fraud against the American People, should be criminalized.
    Like (10)
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    Fraud is already a crime, this law is redundant.
    Like (10)
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    Defrauding anyone should be criminal, no matter veteran or not. Our politicians should be facing criminal charges when they defraud citizens. Destroying evidence is a crime! Bring Hillary up on criminal charges!
    Like (8)
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    I got news for members of Congress: Fraud is already a crime! We don’t need another law to criminalize it! We just simply need to ensure that we enforce these laws seriously in order to protect veterans and the rest of the U.S. population.
    Like (8)
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    Yes...evidently the law we have isn’t working...this will bring it out more loudly to the public and heartless people that would ,and do ,steal from our blessed vets🇺🇸
    Like (8)
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    Why not make it a crime to defraud anyone? Oh, right it already is! I love our veterans but their is no need to pander to them.
    Like (7)
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    Our Veterans go through hell serving us and following orders of some of our stupid politicians, the least we can do for them is support them 100% for their sacrifice. Anyone defrauding them should have the book thrown at them and the ket thrown away because if they can defraud those that fight for their freedoms, then they are true criminals that would defraud anyone they can.
    Like (7)
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    The person who fought or fights for this country to allow us to answer YES or NO, DESERVES EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
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    Let’s extend it to all Americans. No one should be defrauded.
    Like (7)
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    House Bill H.R. 450 AKA the Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act I’m in very strong support of and recommend the passage of the House Bill H.R. 450 AKA the Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act of 2019 — would make it a crime to knowingly engage in any scheme to defraud a veteran of his or her veterans’ benefits, or to knowingly engage in fraud in connection with obtaining veterans’ benefits for that individual. Anyone convicted of defrauding veterans could be fined, imprisoned for up to five years, or both.  Veterans — especially those in low-income housing and assisted living facilities — are one of the most vulnerable populations in the U.S., and they should be protected against fraudsters targeting their well-deserved veterans’ benefits. SneakyPete.......... 👍🏻🇺🇸👍🏻🇺🇸👍🏻. 2*7*19...........
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