Text: S.863 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 110-179 (01/07/2008)

 
[110th Congress Public Law 179]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


[DOCID: f:publ179.110]

[[Page 2555]]

                         EMERGENCY AND DISASTER

                        ASSISTANCE FRAUD PENALTY

                         ENHANCEMENT ACT OF 2007

[[Page 121 STAT. 2556]]

Public Law 110-179
110th Congress

                                 An Act


 
    To amend title 18, United States Code, with respect to fraud in 
connection with major disaster or emergency <<NOTE: Jan. 7, 2008 -  [S. 
                              863]>> funds.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress <<NOTE: Emergency and Disaster 
Assistance Fraud Penalty Enhancement Act of 2007.>> assembled,
SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 18 USC 1 note.>> SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Emergency and Disaster Assistance 
Fraud Penalty Enhancement Act of 2007''.
SEC. 2. FRAUD IN CONNECTION WITH MAJOR DISASTER OR EMERGENCY 
                    BENEFITS.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 47 of title 18, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following:
``Sec. 1040. Fraud in connection with major disaster or emergency 
                  benefits

    ``(a) Whoever, in a circumstance described in subsection (b) of this 
section, knowingly--
            ``(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, 
        scheme, or device any material fact; or
            ``(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent 
        statement or representation, or makes or uses any false writing 
        or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, 
        fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation,

in any matter involving any benefit authorized, transported, 
transmitted, transferred, disbursed, or paid in connection with a major 
disaster declaration under section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford 
Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170) or an 
emergency declaration under section 501 of the Robert T. Stafford 
Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5191), or in 
connection with any procurement of property or services related to any 
emergency or major disaster declaration as a prime contractor with the 
United States or as a subcontractor or supplier on a contract in which 
there is a prime contract with the United States, shall be fined under 
this title, imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.
    ``(b) A circumstance described in this subsection is any instance 
where--
            ``(1) the authorization, transportation, transmission, 
        transfer, disbursement, or payment of the benefit is in or 
        affects interstate or foreign commerce;
            ``(2) the benefit is transported in the mail at any point in 
        the authorization, transportation, transmission, transfer, 
        disbursement, or payment of that benefit; or

[[Page 121 STAT. 2557]]

            ``(3) the benefit is a record, voucher, payment, money, or 
        thing of value of the United States, or of any department or 
        agency thereof.

    ``(c) In this section, the term `benefit' means any record, voucher, 
payment, money or thing of value, good, service, right, or privilege 
provided by the United States, a State or local government, or other 
entity.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections for chapter 47 of 
title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the 
following new item:

``1040. Fraud in connection with major disaster or emergency 
           benefits.''.

SEC. 3. INCREASED CRIMINAL PENALTIES FOR ENGAGING IN WIRE, RADIO, 
                    AND TELEVISION FRAUD DURING AND RELATION TO A 
                    PRESIDENTIALLY DECLARED MAJOR DISASTER OR 
                    EMERGENCY.

    Section 1343 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by 
inserting: ``occurs in relation to, or involving any benefit authorized, 
transported, transmitted, transferred, disbursed, or paid in connection 
with, a presidentially declared major disaster or emergency (as those 
terms are defined in section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster 
Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122)), or'' after ``If 
the violation''.
SEC. 4. INCREASED CRIMINAL PENALTIES FOR ENGAGING IN MAIL FRAUD 
                    DURING AND RELATION TO A PRESIDENTIALLY 
                    DECLARED MAJOR DISASTER OR EMERGENCY.

    Section 1341 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by 
inserting: ``occurs in relation to, or involving any benefit authorized, 
transported, transmitted, transferred, disbursed, or paid in connection 
with, a presidentially declared major disaster or emergency (as those 
terms are defined in section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster 
Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122)), or'' after ``If 
the violation''.
SEC. 5. <<NOTE: Guidelines. 28 USC 994 note.>> DIRECTIVE TO 
                    SENTENCING COMMISSION.

    (a) In General.--Pursuant to its authority under section 994(p) of 
title 28, United States Code, and in accordance with this section, the 
United States Sentencing Commission forthwith shall--
            (1) promulgate sentencing guidelines or amend existing 
        sentencing guidelines to provide for increased penalties for 
        persons convicted of fraud or theft offenses in connection with 
        a major disaster declaration under section 401 of the Robert T. 
        Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 
        5170) or an emergency declaration under section 501 of the 
        Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act 
        (42 U.S.C. 5191); and
            (2) submit to the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate 
        and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of 
        Representatives an explanation of actions taken by the 
        Commission pursuant to paragraph (1) and any additional policy 
        recommendations the Commission may have for combating offenses 
        described in that paragraph.

    (b) Requirements.--In carrying out this section, the Sentencing 
Commission shall--
            (1) ensure that the sentencing guidelines and policy 
        statements reflect the serious nature of the offenses described 
        in

[[Page 121 STAT. 2558]]

        subsection (a) and the need for aggressive and appropriate law 
        enforcement action to prevent such offenses;
            (2) assure reasonable consistency with other relevant 
        directives and with other guidelines;
            (3) account for any aggravating or mitigating circumstances 
        that might justify exceptions, including circumstances for which 
        the sentencing guidelines currently provide sentencing 
        enhancements;
            (4) make any necessary conforming changes to the sentencing 
        guidelines; and
            (5) assure that the guidelines adequately meet the purposes 
        of sentencing as set forth in section 3553(a)(2) of title 18, 
        United States Code.

    (c) Emergency Authority and Deadline for Commission Action.--The 
Commission shall promulgate the guidelines or amendments provided for 
under this section as soon as practicable, and in any event not later 
than the 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, in accordance 
with the procedures set forth in section 21(a) of the Sentencing Reform 
Act of 1987, as though the authority under that Act had not expired.

    Approved January 7, 2008.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 863:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

SENATE REPORTS: No. 110-69 (Comm. on the Judiciary).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 153 (2007):
            Dec. 4, considered and passed Senate.
            Dec. 19, considered and passed House.

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