Legislative Updates: 115th Congress
Deutch, Rooney Bill to Protect Veterans from Scams Passes Committee, Heads to House Floor
Introduced by Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22) and Congressman Tom Rooney (R-FL), the Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act (H.R. 506) unanimously passed the House Judiciary Committee.
The bill would protect veterans from scam artists who target them for profit. In recent years, financial predators have increasingly targeted veterans to defraud them out of their Veteran’s Affairs (VA) benefits. Currently, it is illegal for unauthorized individuals to charge veterans a fee for aid in receiving their benefits, like VA pensions. However, there are no legal or financial repercussions for those who choose to blatantly 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. The bipartisan Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act would close this loophole by levying a heavy fine, imprisonment of up to five years, or both, on any individual who blatantly engage in schemes to defraud veterans (or their spouses) of their benefits.
The full text of H.R. 506 is available here. This bill later passed in the House on March 14, 2018.