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State of Rhode Island General Assembly
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House passes Rep. Azzinaro’s ‘stolen valor’ bill
STATE HOUSE – The House today approved legislation (
) sponsored by Rep. Samuel A. Azzinaro which would make “stolen valor” a crime.
The bill would make it a crime to fraudulently represent oneself as an active or veteran member of the military or armed forces for the purpose of obtaining money, property or other tangible benefits. The crime would be a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of not more than a year, or a fine of $1000, or both.
“The sacrifices that our military members make in order to ensure our freedom and safety should never be taken lightly and any individual who pretends through fraud to be one of these brave and selfless heroes should be held accountable for their gross deception,” said Chairman Azzinaro (D-Dist. 37, Westerly).
Representative Azzinaro is the Chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and he served in the National Guard for four years and was a member of the Army Reserve for four years.
He introduced the bill due to the recent case of a North Kingstown VFW commander who was found to have used falsified military records in order to portray herself as a veteran when in fact she had never served in the military. The individual collected thousands of dollars from non-profits through her deception.
In addition to falsely wearing military uniforms or using falsified military identification, the law would also include falsely representing oneself as a recipient of the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross and other military decorations.
The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration where Sen. Roger A. Picard (D-Dist. 20, Woonsocket, Cumberland) has introduced the legislation (
For more information, contact:
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
Lt. Governor's Office
Secretary of State
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