Text: H.R.5214 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 116-126 (03/18/2020)

 
[116th Congress Public Law 126]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



[[Page 173]]

            REPRESENTATIVE PAYEE FRAUD PREVENTION ACT OF 2019

[[Page 134 STAT. 174]]

Public Law 116-126
116th Congress

                                 An Act


 
To amend title 5, United States Code, to prevent fraud by representative 
             payees. <<NOTE: Mar. 18, 2020 -  [H.R. 5214]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress 
assembled, <<NOTE: Representative Payee Fraud Prevention Act of 2019. 5 
USC 101 note.>> 
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Representative Payee Fraud Prevention 
Act of 2019''.
SEC. 2. REPRESENTATIVE PAYEE FRAUD.

    (a) Definitions.--
            (1) CSRS.--Section 8331 of title 5, United States Code, is 
        amended--
                    (A) in paragraph (31), by striking ``and'' at the 
                end;
                    (B) in paragraph (32), by striking the period at the 
                end and inserting ``; and''; and
                    (C) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(33) `representative payee' means a person (including an 
        organization) designated under section 8345(e)(1) to receive 
        payments on behalf of a minor or an individual mentally 
        incompetent or under other legal disability.''.
            (2) FERS.--Section 8401 of title 5, United States Code, is 
        amended--
                    (A) in paragraph (37), by striking ``and'' at the 
                end;
                    (B) in paragraph (38), by striking the period at the 
                end and inserting ``; and''; and
                    (C) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(39) `representative payee' means a person (including an 
        organization) designated under section 8466(c)(1) to receive 
        payments on behalf of a minor or an individual mentally 
        incompetent or under other legal disability.''.

    (b) Embezzlement or Conversion.--
            (1) CSRS.--Subchapter III of chapter 83 of title 5, United 
        States Code, is amended by inserting after section 8345 the 
        following:
``Sec. 8345a. <<NOTE: 5 USC 8345a.>>  Embezzlement or conversion 
                    of payments

    ``(a) Embezzling and Conversion Generally.--
            ``(1) In general.--It shall be unlawful for a representative 
        payee to embezzle or in any manner convert all or any part of 
        the amounts received from payments received as a representative 
        payee to a use other than for the use and benefit of the minor 
        or individual on whose behalf such payments were received.

[[Page 134 STAT. 175]]

            ``(2) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  Revocation.--If the Office 
        determines that a representative payee has embezzled or 
        converted payments as described in paragraph (1), the Office 
        shall promptly--
                    ``(A) revoke the certification for payment of 
                benefits to the representative payee; and
                    ``(B) <<NOTE: Certification.>>  certify payment--
                          ``(i) to another representative payee; or
                          ``(ii) if the interest of the individual under 
                      this title would be served thereby, to the 
                      individual.

    ``(b) Penalty.--Any person who violates subsection (a)(1) shall be 
fined under title 18, imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.''.
            (2) FERS.--Subchapter VI of chapter 84 of title 5, United 
        States Code, is amended by inserting after section 8466 the 
        following:
``Sec. 8466a. <<NOTE: 5 USC 8466a.>>  Embezzlement or conversion 
                    of payments

    ``(a) Embezzling and Conversion Generally.--
            ``(1) In general.--It shall be unlawful for a representative 
        payee to embezzle or in any manner convert all or any part of 
        the amounts received from payments received as a representative 
        payee to a use other than for the use and benefit of the minor 
        or individual on whose behalf such payments were received.
            ``(2) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  Revocation.--If the Office 
        determines that a representative payee has embezzled or 
        converted payments as described in paragraph (1), the Office 
        shall promptly--
                    ``(A) revoke the certification for payment of 
                benefits to the representative payee; and
                    ``(B) <<NOTE: Certification.>>  certify payment--
                          ``(i) to another representative payee; or
                          ``(ii) if the interest of the individual under 
                      this title would be served thereby, to the 
                      individual.

    ``(b) Penalty.--Any person who violates subsection (a)(1) shall be 
fined under title 18, imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.''.
            (3) Technical and conforming amendments.--
                    (A) The table of sections for chapter 83 of title 5, 
                United States Code, <<NOTE: 5 USC 8301 prec.>>  is 
                amended by inserting after the item relating to section 
                8345 the following:

``8345a. Embezzlement or conversion of payments.''.

                    (B) The table of sections for chapter 84 of title 5, 
                United States Code, <<NOTE: 5 USC 8401 prec.>>  is 
                amended by inserting after the item relating to section 
                8466 the following:

``8466a. Embezzlement or conversion of payments.''.

    (c) Deferral of Payment Pending Appointment of Representative 
Payee.--
            (1) CSRS.--Section 8345(e) of title 5, United States Code, 
        is amended--
                    (A) by inserting ``(1)'' after ``(e)'';
                    (B) in the first sentence, by inserting ``(including 
                an organization)'' after ``person'';
                    (C) in the second sentence--
                          (i) by inserting ``(including an 
                      organization)'' after ``any person''; and

[[Page 134 STAT. 176]]

                          (ii) by inserting ``and may appropriately 
                      receive such payments on behalf of the claimant'' 
                      after ``claimant'' the second place it appears; 
                      and
                    (D) by adding at the end the following:

    ``(2) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  If the Office determines that direct 
payment of a benefit to an individual mentally incompetent or under 
other legal disability would cause substantial harm to the individual, 
the Office may defer or suspend direct payment of the benefit until such 
time as the appointment of a representative payee is made. The Office 
shall resume payment as soon as practicable, including all amounts 
due.''.
            (2) FERS.--Section 8466(c) of title 5, United States Code, 
        is amended--
                    (A) by inserting ``(1)'' after ``(c)'';
                    (B) in the first sentence, by inserting ``(including 
                an organization)'' after ``person'';
                    (C) in the second sentence--
                          (i) by inserting ``(including an 
                      organization)'' after ``any person''; and
                          (ii) by inserting ``and may appropriately 
                      receive such payments on behalf of the claimant'' 
                      after ``claimant'' the second place it appears; 
                      and
                    (D) by adding at the end the following:

    ``(2) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  If the Office determines that direct 
payment of a benefit to an individual mentally incompetent or under 
other legal disability would cause substantial harm to the individual, 
the Office may defer or suspend direct payment of the benefit until such 
time as the appointment of a representative payee is made. The Office 
shall resume payment as soon as practicable, including all amounts 
due.''.

    (d) Limitations on Appointments of Representative Payees.--
            (1) CSRS.--Section 8345 of title 5, United States Code, is 
        amended by inserting after subsection (e) the following:

    ``(f) The Office may not authorize a person to receive payments on 
behalf of a minor or individual of legal disability under subsection (e) 
if that person has been convicted of a violation of--
            ``(1) section 8345a or 8466a;
            ``(2) section 208 or 1632 of the Social Security Act (42 
        U.S.C. 408, 1383a); or
            ``(3) section 6101 of title 38.''.
            (2) FERS.--Section 8466 of title 5, United States Code, is 
        amended by adding at the end the following:

    ``(d) The Office may not authorize a person to receive payments on 
behalf of a minor or individual of legal disability under subsection (c) 
if that person has been convicted of a violation of--
            ``(1) section 8345a or 8466a;
            ``(2) section 208 or 1632 of the Social Security Act (42 
        U.S.C. 408, 1383a); or
            ``(3) section 6101 of title 38.''.
SEC. 3. IMPLEMENTATION.

    (a) Authorization of Payments.--Section 8348(a)(1)(B) of title 5, 
United States Code, is amended by inserting ``in administering fraud 
prevention under sections 8345, 8345a, 8466, and 8466a of this title,'' 
after ``8465(b) of this title,''.

[[Page 134 STAT. 177]]

    (b) <<NOTE: Deadline. 5 USC 8331 note.>>  Regulations.--Not later 
than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Office of 
Personnel Management--
            (1) shall promulgate regulations to carry out the amendments 
        made by section 2; and
            (2) may promulgate additional regulations relating to the 
        administration of the representative payee program.
SEC. 4. <<NOTE: 5 USC 8331 note.>>  EFFECTIVE DATE.

    The amendments made by section 2--
            (1) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this 
        Act; and
            (2) apply on and after the effective date of the regulations 
        promulgated under section 3(b)(1).

    Approved March 18, 2020.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 5214:
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CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 166 (2020):
            Feb. 5, considered and passed House.
            Mar. 3, considered and passed Senate.

                                  <all>

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