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house Bill H.R. 506

Should it be a Federal Crime to Defraud a Veteran or Their Spouse of Veterans’ Benefits?

Argument in favor

Anyone who defrauds a veteran or their spouse of veterans’ benefits should face hefty fines and a lengthy prison sentence as punishment.

Francine's Opinion
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03/12/2018
At the very least we should protect our vets. They protected us!! BTW, fix the VA while you’re at it.
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Lilly.Forest's Opinion
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03/12/2018
To defraud anyone of their monetary entitlements should be a federal offense. But to defraud a veteran? Most definitely that should require mandatory jail time in a federal prison!
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Rick 's Opinion
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03/12/2018
Without a doubt. Why just stop with Veterans? Why not for all disabled? To me that is the low of all lows to steal from ANY disabled person.
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Argument opposed

It’s already a crime to defraud a veteran or their spouse of veterans benefits, so there’s no need to establish penalties for violating the law.

Patrick's Opinion
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03/12/2018
It is already a crime to defraud people. This is redundant legislation. In addition, although certainly deserving of our respect and admiration, veterans are not a special class of citizens with a special class of rights. They are already protected by the same laws that protect the rest of us from fraud. And, if they are not, then those laws aren’t sufficient and should be re-written so as to properly protect every citizen from any attempt to defraud them.
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Diane's Opinion
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03/12/2018
I believe in supporting all veterans in any way we can. But this is already a law. Congress spend your time and our money on finding ways to help homeless veterans and mental health for them.
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Terri9365's Opinion
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03/12/2018
Defrauding a vet is no different than defrauding a non-vet. Use existing laws.
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What is House Bill H.R. 506?

This bill would make it a federal crime for any person to knowingly engage in a scheme to defraud a veteran or their spouse of veterans’ benefits. It would be punishable by a fine, up to five years imprisonment, or both. Currently it’s illegal for unauthorized individuals to charge veterans a fee for helping them claim their benefits, but there are no legal or financial penalties for violating the law.

Impact

Veterans and their spouses; fraudsters; and law enforcement.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 506

The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would have an insignificant impact on federal spending and revenues.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL) introduced this bill to make it a federal crime to defraud a veteran or their spouse of veterans’ benefits:

“Anyone 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 have to face a harsh punishment for their criminal actions. Frankly it’s appalling that there are individuals out there who are targeting veterans, especially those in low-income housing or who are elderly, with these schemes. This commonsense legislation will help give prosecutors the tools they need to protect our veterans and go after these criminals.”

Original cosponsor, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), added:

“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.”

This legislation passed the House Judiciary Committee on a voice vote and has the support of 26 bipartisan cosponsors, including 18 Republicans and 8 Democrats.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: MivPiv / iStock)

AKA

Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act of 2017

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 March 14th, 2018
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedJanuary 12th, 2017

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    At the very least we should protect our vets. They protected us!! BTW, fix the VA while you’re at it.
    Like (81)
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    It is already a crime to defraud people. This is redundant legislation. In addition, although certainly deserving of our respect and admiration, veterans are not a special class of citizens with a special class of rights. They are already protected by the same laws that protect the rest of us from fraud. And, if they are not, then those laws aren’t sufficient and should be re-written so as to properly protect every citizen from any attempt to defraud them.
    Like (104)
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    I believe in supporting all veterans in any way we can. But this is already a law. Congress spend your time and our money on finding ways to help homeless veterans and mental health for them.
    Like (48)
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    Share
    To defraud anyone of their monetary entitlements should be a federal offense. But to defraud a veteran? Most definitely that should require mandatory jail time in a federal prison!
    Like (38)
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    Share
    Without a doubt. Why just stop with Veterans? Why not for all disabled? To me that is the low of all lows to steal from ANY disabled person.
    Like (33)
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    Defrauding a vet is no different than defrauding a non-vet. Use existing laws.
    Like (19)
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    Is violence or crime against another person already illegal? Just like the Violence Against Women's Act (violence against people is already illegal, women are people, making this law redundant) I feel like it's a useless law. Equality under the law, no special classification of citizen.
    Like (16)
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    Fraud should be a crime regardless of who the victim is.
    Like (13)
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    So HR 506 essentially makes Veteran/Spouse fraud a Federal Crime. And to my unbelief, ”poaching” pensioners is not illegal. Is fraud legal if you are a Veteran? Anyway, I'm a yes on protecting Veterans.
    Like (11)
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    Should it be a federal crime to defraud people? Yes.
    Like (10)
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    Absolutely it should. Their benefits are from the federal government, therefore, they are defrauding the government and stealing from the veteran.
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    Service families also serve and should be respected as such.....
    Like (10)
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    Isn’t this illegal already?
    Like (7)
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    Does this include the politicians who vote against veterans benefits? Who refuse to fund veterans programs?
    Like (7)
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    For you people saying “no” shame on you. Just shame.
    Like (6)
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    Yes support our veterans by protecting them from fraud. 🇺🇸 God bless our veterans for their service and sacrifice on our behalf! Anyone willing to hurt them needs to be severely punished.
    Like (6)
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    We should not leave the investigation, or prosecution of fraud committed against veterans or their spouses at the municipal, county or even state level. It should be a federal crime so that the perpetrators can not hide behind jurisdictional constraints.
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    VA benefits are federal benefits so the crime should be federal also. Any law without penalties is no law at all.
    Like (5)
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    And this should also apply to Congress and any Government official or Government personnel involved in not providing benefits to Veterans and their families.
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    It should be without question that it is a crime to defraud a veteran of their benefits. Maximum penalty should be applied!
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