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Overcriminalization

"Overcriminalization" describes the trends in America - and particulary in Congress - to use the criminal law to "solve" every problem, punish every mistake (instead of making proper use of civil penalties), and coerce Americans into conforming their behavior to satisfy social engineering objectives.

HR 1826: A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to reinstate criminal penalties for persons charging veterans unauthorized fees.

Official Title

A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to reinstate criminal penalties for persons charging veterans unauthorized fees.

Analysis

This bill would amend 38 U.S.C. § 5905 to reinstate criminal penalties for persons charging veterans unauthorized fees in connection with benefit proceedings before the Department of Veterans Affairs. Currently, section 5905 subjects a person to criminal sanctions if that individual “wrongfully withholds from any claimant or beneficiary any part of a benefit or claim allowed and due to the claimant or beneficiary.” H.R. 1826 would maintain this existing criminal provision and add another prohibiting actual or attempted solicitation, contracting for, charging for, or receiving “any fee or compensation in connection [with] … the provision of advice on how to file a claim for benefits under the laws administered by the Secretary [of Veterans Affairs].” The actual or attempted “preparation, presentation, or prosecution of such a claim before the date on which a notice of disagreement is filed” would also be prohibited. Violations of these provisions would be punishable by up to one year imprisonment, fines under Title 18 of the U.S. Code, or both. This bill is related to H.R. 1826.

Legislation Details
SPONSOR

Bilirakis (R - FL)

STATUS:

07/22/2011: Forwarded to full committee by voice vote
07/22/2011: Mark up in the House Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs
06/01/2011: Referred to House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
05/25/2011: Referred to House Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs
05/11/2011: Referred to House Veteran Affairs Committee