Washington, D.C. — In a letter sent today, NAAG urged Congress to include Edith’s Bill in COVID-19 relief legislation. Unfortunately, seniors are vulnerable targets of COVID-19 scams, such as providing personal information to fraudsters claiming to offer COVID-19 tests. The legislation would help senior victims recover financial losses as the result of fraud.
The NAAG letter was signed by 44 state and territory attorneys general and reads, “Many seniors live on fixed incomes and savings earned over a lifetime of hard work. Older adults have contributed so much to our nation, and it is simply wrong that many are losing life savings to criminals. Tragically, it is rare for seniors to receive compensation even after fraudsters are caught and convicted. Edith’s Bill would take an important step in providing compensation to defrauded seniors, and it would do so without using taxpayer funds.”
Edith’s Bill, or the Edith Shorougian Senior Victims of Fraud Compensation Act (S. 3487/H.R. 7620), would amend the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) to include victims of senior fraud as eligible for reimbursement by the Crime Victims Fund for states that provide compensation to victims. It would also amend VOCA so that penalties and fines from deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements are deposited into the Crime Victims Fund.
As chief legal officers of their jurisdictions, attorneys general are on the frontlines of the fight against senior fraud and abuse and continue to go after perpetrators who target seniors. The nation’s largest elder sweep was conducted last year in conjunction with state and territory attorneys general and the U.S. Department of Justice.
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