Senate Passes Legislation to Protect Disabled-Veteran-Owned Businesses from Criminal Impersonation

 
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Kennedy-sponsored legislation approved to stop impersonators who try to cheat the system and steal from veterans

ALBANY, N.Y. – Senator Timothy M. Kennedy, D-58th District, passed legislation through the State Senate to crackdown on the impersonation of disabled veteran vendors. Under this bill, offenders who defraud veterans and the public by pretending to be service-disabled-veteran business owners can be punished with time behind bars.

This legislation (S.4726), which Senator Kennedy sponsored, will make criminal impersonation of a disabled-veteran vendor a class A misdemeanor. If convicted, offenders could spend up to one year in prison.

“When someone impersonates a disabled-veteran vendor for personal gain, they are committing a truly shameful and reprehensible act,” said Senator Kennedy. “Once it becomes law, this legislation will ensure this reprehensible act becomes a punishable crime.”

Veterans with disabilities are often eligible for special benefits to help them start up business enterprises or to incentivize the growth their businesses. This bill is designed to protect veteran-owned businesses by deterring the deception and theft caused by criminal impersonation.  

“Impersonators have inflicted serious economic pain upon veterans with disabilities. This deception results in the theft of business that rightfully belongs to men and women who made great sacrifices in service to our nation,” Kennedy said. “This legislation will ensure law enforcement has the tools to crackdown on anyone who impersonates a disabled-veteran business owner. It will stop people who try to cheat the system and steal from veterans.

“This will help set the precedent that in New York State, you won’t get away with defrauding veterans out of benefits they’ve earned. We protect our veterans, and this legislation is an important next step,” Kennedy added.

The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 52-2. It has now been sent to the Assembly for approval.

To learn more about veteran-owned businesses or if you are a veteran looking to start a business, Senator Kennedy encourages you to visit http://www.vetbiz.gov/.

For help connecting with business resources, you can contact Senator Kennedy’s office at 716-826-2683 or email at kennedy@nysenate.gov. You can also find information regarding resources to help veterans start and expand small businesses at http://www.sba.gov/content/veteran-service-disabled-veteran-owned.

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            Senator Timothy M. Kennedy represents the New York State Senate’s 58th District, which is comprised of the towns of Cheektowaga, Eden, Hamburg and West Seneca, the city of Lackawanna and parts of the city of Buffalo. More information is available at kennedy.nysenate.gov.