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house Bill H.R. 4676

Should it be a Crime to Attempt to Defraud a Veteran of Their Benefits In-Person?

Argument in favor

Attempting to defraud a veteran out of the benefits they earned in service of our country is reprehensible and must be punished. This bill closes a loophole that allows criminals to defraud veterans in-person and get away with it.

SouthernGal's Opinion
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04/12/2016
Closing a loophole is good, but fixing the VA so the lag in processing claims would be better. This bill sounds like a group of congressmen are trying to impress their home district voters of how they support vets, because it's election time!
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Gunnar's Opinion
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04/12/2016
It makes no sense why it would be illegal to perform a fraudulent act on the phone, but legal to do so in person.
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Phil's Opinion
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04/13/2016
I hope this will include those who work at the VA hospitals. They seem to be the biggest offenders.
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Argument opposed

It is already a crime to attempt to defraud a veteran by phone or mail, so broadening the definition to include in-person meetings is unnecessary.

operaman's Opinion
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04/10/2016
In-person? Sounds like a built-in loophole. It's time to stop veteran abuse AS WELL AS ALL TAXPAYER ABUSE FROM OUR OWN GOVERNMENT. If we could apply all the protections our government has provided to the LGBT community or to special religious and ethnic groups, that would be a big step forward. By-the-people and for-the-people, no special interest groups.
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Steven's Opinion
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04/11/2016
I didn't read this bill I "Assumed" it was conservative pandering. I was wrong. People need to learn patience, at the heart of the scam is playing on a rush to collect benefits. After 20 years of hurry up and wait some of us should be used to it by now.
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Ollie's Opinion
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04/12/2016
Fraud is already a crime enforce the laws we already have!
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What is House Bill H.R. 4676?

This bill would change the federal criminal code to make it a crime to participate in a scheme to defraud of veteran of their veteran’s benefits. This would include attempts to fraudulently claim to assist the veteran in obtaining their benefits.

Under current law people who attempt to defraud veterans by phone, email, direct mail, or other types of interstate commerce could be prosecuted — but a loophole exists for in-person meetings. This legislation would close that loophole, and make the crime punishable by a fine and up to five years imprisonment.

Impact

Veterans who could be targeted by an attempt to defraud them; fraudsters; and law enforcement.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4676

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL) introduced this bill to prevent veterans from being defrauded of the benefits they earned in defense of their country:

“Everyone knows that the claims process at the VA is too slow. Anyone who deliberately seeks out our most vulnerable veterans purporting to speed up this process with their VA claims and illegally charging them exorbitant fees for their ‘services’ deserves to face a harsh penalty. This bill will help prevent America’s heroes from being targeted by fraudulent financial schemes by giving law enforcement the tools they need to punish these low-life criminals.”

This legislation was introduced on a bipartisan basis between Rep. Rooney and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), and it has since gained one additional cosponsor — Rep. David Jolly (R-FL).


Of Note: According to the AARP there are several schemes being used by con artists to defraud veterans, including benefit scams, charity scams, and those claiming to offer veterans help with their benefits in exchange for a fee.



Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user DeveionPhotography)

AKA

Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act of 2016

Official Title

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

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 April 12th, 2016
    Roll Call Vote 411 Yea / 0 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedMarch 2nd, 2016

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    Closing a loophole is good, but fixing the VA so the lag in processing claims would be better. This bill sounds like a group of congressmen are trying to impress their home district voters of how they support vets, because it's election time!
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    In-person? Sounds like a built-in loophole. It's time to stop veteran abuse AS WELL AS ALL TAXPAYER ABUSE FROM OUR OWN GOVERNMENT. If we could apply all the protections our government has provided to the LGBT community or to special religious and ethnic groups, that would be a big step forward. By-the-people and for-the-people, no special interest groups.
    Like (12)
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    Fraud, in any form, should be illegal.
    Like (8)
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    It makes no sense why it would be illegal to perform a fraudulent act on the phone, but legal to do so in person.
    Like (7)
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    I didn't read this bill I "Assumed" it was conservative pandering. I was wrong. People need to learn patience, at the heart of the scam is playing on a rush to collect benefits. After 20 years of hurry up and wait some of us should be used to it by now.
    Like (5)
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    Anyone who takes advantage of a service member, after all the sacrifices made for our common good, should be tried to the fullest extent of the law. This should include any politician using a veteran or group as political pawns.
    Like (5)
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    I hope this will include those who work at the VA hospitals. They seem to be the biggest offenders.
    Like (5)
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    Are you telling me its not a crime now? WTF is the matter with you people?
    Like (4)
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    This is a loophole that needs to be closed.
    Like (3)
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    Yes, and include the fraudsters with social security, EBT, WIC, Obamaphones, rent subsidies, retirement for disability, etc., etc, Feel the Bern yet taxpayers?
    Like (3)
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    If there are people taking advantage of this "loophole" then who would possibly say no to it. Seems like common sense to me
    Like (3)
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    Anything to help prevent fraud.
    Like (3)
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    VA needs to be completely revamped and many of the officials should be fired rather than getting a raise.
    Like (3)
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    In today's society unfortunately our vets need as much helps as they can get from us.
    Like (3)
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    Defrauding veterans is absolutely deplorable, and protections against it should be strengthened in any and all ways possible. These brave people who have given our country so much already receive such poor support in return. Please support these deserving people in any way you can.
    Like (3)
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    I'm surprised fraud isn't already illegal when it's "in person"
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    Assuming this is at all an issue, then yes..Why would they be covered every other way and not in person..We really need to get our priorities straight when it comes to our Veterans
    Like (3)
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    Fraud is already a crime enforce the laws we already have!
    Like (2)
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    Any existing loopholes should be closed to protect our veterans against fraud. Our veterans have served with honor and deserve our respect and protection.
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    In-person fraud should really be added to the legislation in order to protect veterans
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