Rep. Handel’s Weekly Recap for January 12
This week I helped pass H.R. 506, the Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act, through the House Judiciary Committee. It is estimated that 16% of our veterans have been the victim of fraud. That is despicable, and it has to change.
Financial predators have increasingly targeted veterans, particularly elderly veterans living in low-income housing, in an effort to defraud them of their veterans’ affairs benefits. Criminals offer to help veterans by claiming that they can get their benefits approved in record time, but instead they end up charging veterans exorbitant fees while providing them little or no assistance.
Although it is illegal for non-approved agents to charge fees for these "services," there is no criminal or financial penalty associated with the crime. H.R. 506, which I cosponsored last year, closes a loophole in federal law by attaching a criminal penalty for these fraudulent transactions while giving federal prosecutors tools to take legal action against those who defraud our veterans.