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Friday, May 20, 2022

NJ increased penalty for impersonating a veteran, active military

New Jersey imposes harsh penalties for those who impersonate a veteran or member of the armed forces for their personal gain.

Phil Murphy signed into law Tuesday, which upgrades some of the offenses related to these scams, multiplying the potential fine by 15 and adding a potential prison sentence to the sentence.

“With the Internet and with COVID, there’s an anonymity involved when you’re asking for veterans’ benefits,” said state Sen. Joe Penacchio, R-Morris, a sponsor of the law, which is now the law. “I don’t think there’s a lot going on, but clearly, there’s a lot more.”

Impersonation methods are, by law, not limited to remote applications; These include wearing a uniform that is authorized for use by ex-servicemen or active military members, and claiming to be the recipient of any decorations or medals.

This type of offense will be upgraded from third degree to second degree if the bad actor receives benefits in the amount of $75,000 or more. A second-degree offense can result in a prison term of 5 to 10 years, and a fine of up to $150,000.

Currently, the fine is a minimum of $1,000, thanks to a law signed by the then government. Chris Christie in 2015. This will remain a case of fraud resulting in a personal gain of less than $75,000.

Any penalties are required to be deposited into the Military Dependent Scholarship Fund.

Contact reporter Dino Flamia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

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