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Legislator Rath’s Theft of Valor Law clears final hurdle


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oneilj - Posted on 01 December 2017

Erie County Legislator Edward Rath announces that his Erie County Theft of Valor Law has officially become law. Approved by the Legislature and signed by the County Executive, the Theft of Valor Law makes it a crime to impersonate a veteran or member of the military for financial gain. Those found guilty of would face criminal misdemeanor charges and fines.

“I want to thank the County Executive and my colleagues in the Legislature for supporting this law. I heard from many veterans and veteran organizations who stated that having this law on the local level was long overdue and is greatly appreciated to stop impostors. It is my hope that we don’t have this issue in our community and that individuals aren’t falsely parading around as veterans for their benefit. However, if someone is doing this heinous act, they will be held accountable,” said Legislator Rath. “I am proud to have sponsored this law for our veterans and active members of the military, and will continue to support them in any way possible.”

The law states, in part, “Such actions are disgraceful and tarnish the accomplishments of those men and women who truly earned their military decorations. Further, an individual who fraudulently represents him or herself as a decorated veteran in order to obtain money, property or other tangible benefits should be subject to penalty.”

This newly enacted county law follows amendments to the federal criminal laws and provides local law enforcement the ability to arrest and convict those guilty of Theft of Valor. By having a local Theft of Valor Law, the Erie County Legislature enhances our community’s ability to fight against this fraud and stop those who are pretending to be veterans or members of the military.

The law will take effect 60 days after it is filed with the Secretary of State. 

For additional information or questions about a county issue, please contact Legislator Rath at 858-8676 or e-mail edward.rath@erie.gov