Summary: S.221 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.221. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (01/19/1999)

Disaster Victims Crime Prevention Act of 1999 - Amends the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to direct the Attorney General, following the declaration of a major disaster by the President to: (1) consult with the appropriate U.S. Attorney and State and local law enforcement officials to determine the extent to which victims of the disaster are being further victimized by fraudulent or otherwise unscrupulous activities of suppliers offering consumer goods and services for the cleanup, repair, and other recovery from the effects of the disaster (cleanup); and (2) if it appears that resources of such officials are insufficient, establish an anti-fraud task force to quickly and adequately investigate and prosecute the activities.

Sets penalties to be imposed against: (1) any supplier that, during the 180 days following declaration of a major disaster, obtains anything of value through false pretenses or fraudulent conduct in connection with an agreement to provide a consumer good or service for the cleanup; (2) any person that obtains through false pretenses any form of Government assistance for the cleanup; and (3) any supplier that provides or offers to provide during such period any consumer good or service at an unconscionably excessive price, based on a specified formula (and authorizes actions by victims and by State attorneys general for relief).

Requires the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to: (1) develop public information materials to assist victims of major disasters in detecting and avoiding unscrupulous suppliers; and (2) provide for the distribution of such materials to the victims of each major disaster as soon as practicable after the President's declaration of the existence of the disaster.

Directs the United States Sentencing Commission to review and, if necessary, amend the sentencing guidelines to make the commission of specified offenses in connection with the provision of a consumer good or service for such cleanup an aggravating factor that may result in the imposition of a sentence twice as great as that which would otherwise be imposed.