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  • Overcriminalization in America: Fraud is Fraud is Fraud

    As part of an ongoing series, Heritage’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies identifies a “Bill of the Week” which impacts overcriminalization in America.

    The Contracting Oversight for Small Business Jobs Act of 2012 is a classic example of the overcriminalization of fraud.  Senior Legal Fellow Paul Larkin has gone in-depth on the topic before.  There are dozens of federal fraud laws on the books that are being enforced in every federal district court.  Even so, Congress keeps finding ways to customize fraud for particular special interests.  As Larkin quips, “If this were football, the referee would throw a penalty flag for unnecessary roughness” for the amount of overkill on federal fraud statutes.

    In this bill, any business that “knowingly” is involved in a fraudulent claim as a small business for the purposes of government contracting.  A violation would be punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and a fine of the greater of 1) $1,000,000 or 2) a sum equal to twice the amount or value of goods or services under the government contract.

    And unlike most bills in Congress, this one is on the fast track.  The House Judiciary Committee considered and marked up the bill only three days after it was proposed, and it has been reported to the full House.

    The bill was proposed on March 19 and was referred to the House Judiciary Committee and the House Small Business Committee.

    Presumably no one in Congress supports fraud, but it is already illegal.  Congress shouldn’t be passing new criminal laws to make conduct that is already a crime, a crime yet again.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Overcriminalization in America: Fraud is Fraud is Fraud

    1. Bobbie says:

      obviously the government is against freedom of the people and will arrest it everywhere they can while we have the president and his minions, setting up the good of America (the republic) putting America in harms way domestically and internationally lying, cheating and stealing until freedom will be no more. Please stop the abuse! Protect this country's people from it!!
      Accountability!! Discipline! Because we do care about the truth and the fact we're constantly being deceived!

    2. Steve Lanning says:

      Thanks, Joe,

      Your 'fraud is a fraud' comments are well-taken. We even see this in our new grassroots non-profit, American Alliance of Elder Advocates fighting against elder fraud and elder financial exploitation. There are enough laws on the books to choke the proverbial horse, but enforcement? Yet in our field we have to deal with the fact that the institution that issed the letters behind someone's name did not also provide a moral compass to go with those letters!

    3. Stu Gardiner says:

      Looks like the Dept. of Redundancy Dept. is at it again!

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