House Unanimously Passes Deutch, Meadows Bill to Protect Veterans from Scams
Just now, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 417-0 to pass the Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act, legislation introduced by Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22) and Congressman Mark Meadows (NC-11) to protect our nation's veterans from targeted scams and financial predators.
Currently, it is against the law for unauthorized agents to charge veterans a fee in exchange for assistance with claims or appeals with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Unfortunately, this crime carries no penalty. Financial predators pursue veterans, luring them with false offers to expedite their claims or benefits and charging them exorbitant costs.
The Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act would impose a fine or imprisonment up to five years or both for defrauding veterans. This legislation has twice passed the House of Representatives unanimously, in the 115th Congress (H.R. 506) and the 114th Congress (H.R. 4676). A one-pager can be accessed here.
"After veterans and their families have made such sacrifices for our country and our national security, it is so deeply reprehensible that people would seek them out to defraud them with these scams," said Congressman Deutch. "Congress must put a penalty to the crime so we can discourage this predatory behavior. Let's close this despicable loophole and protect our veterans from pension poachers and fraudsters."
“Congress has both a responsibility and an obligation to step up and protect our Veterans against financial predators," Congressman Meadows said. "Closing loopholes in existing laws and providing law enforcement with additional tools to crack down on criminals targeting Veterans’ benefits will be a needed reform to the process. It would send a loud and clear message of support to those who have served our country so faithfully and guard them against any effort to rob them of their hard earned benefits. I thank all my colleagues for their support and want to thank the gentleman from Florida, Ted Deutch, the lead Democratic cosponsor, for his leadership on this important measure.”