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    Defrauding Veterans Would Be a Federal Crime Under Bill Pushed by Senators

    Defrauding Veterans Would Be a Federal Crime Under Bill Pushed by Senators

    Defrauding veterans of their benefits would be its own federal crime under a bipartisan bill recently reintroduced in the Senate.

    Under the bill from Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., fraud schemes that target veterans benefits would be punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine or both.

    “Anytime the federal government provides essential benefits to our constituents, there's going to be predators out there to take it away,” Cortez Masto said in a phone interview with .com on Tuesday. “So we have to make sure that we are imposing the appropriate enforcement to protect those individuals so that their benefits are not taken.”

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    The bill, which Cortez Masto and Rubio formally reintroduced Friday, has been introduced in previous Congresses and has even passed the House several times. Most recently, in 2021, the House overwhelmingly approved the bill in a 416-5 vote. But it has never been taken up by the Senate, meaning the legislative process has to from scratch again this year.

    According to data released by the FTC in February 2022, reports of fraud against veterans, service members and spouses jumped 69% in 2021 compared to the previous year. Within that group, veterans and military retirees reported being targeted the most, with 87,343 fraud reports. The total 110,827 fraud cases…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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