Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) announced today he has introduced the Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act (S.3357), legislation that would crack down on non-governmental organizations scamming veterans by charging them fees to expedite services at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), something already banned by federal law.
 
“One of the most sickening things I’ve encountered as my office has worked with veterans seeking assistance is these scammers ripping off the men and women who serve our country and going after their VA benefits. They target veterans in assisted living facilities and those with low incomes, which is disgusting,” said Rubio. “I’ve introduced this legislation to crack down on criminals who prey on our veterans, because we should be doing everything we can to protect them and their benefits from scams.”
 
It is currently illegal for anyone who is not an approved agent or attorney to charge a fee for assisting a veteran in filing a claim or appeal with the VA, but there is no criminal or financial penalty for breaking the law. Rubio’s bill would allow scammers to be fined or sent to prison for defrauding veterans.
 
In March, Rep. Tom Rooney (FL-17) introduced the same bill in the U.S. House, and it passed unanimously in April.
 
“The state of Florida has one of the highest concentrations of veterans in the country and it is our responsibility to write laws that penalize individuals who scam veterans out of their well-deserved benefits,” said Rooney. “I’m grateful that Senator Rubio has introduced the Senate version of my bill, which passed the House 411-0 in April, to help put a stop to these financial predators and I am hopeful that we can see this bill be signed into law.”