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County Cracks Down on Unscrupulous Solicitors Posing as Veterans

New law streamlines registration requirements for organizations accepting donations on behalf of military veterans.

A new law passed last month by the Suffolk County legislature will make it more difficult for fraudulent solicitors to pose as veterans or skim donations in the name of the military.

Not-for-profit organizations must now register with the Veterans Service Agency, disclose the percentage paid to solicitors, and provide detailed information about recipients of aid, according to the new legislation.

Unanimously approved in April, the law bans solicitors from wearing military fatigues; requires prominent display of permits and subjects those in violation of the law to fines and revocation of permits, according to Legis. Steven Stern, D-Huntington Station, a co-sponsor of the bill.

“This measure will help ensure that donations are used to provide needed services to the brave men and women who protect our great nation,” said Stern in a press release.

Those who violate the new law are subject to fines between $500 and $1,000 for each violation. Civil penalties collected will be deposited with the Veterans Services Agency to be used to provide services to homeless veterans.

In related news, a man accused of setting up a fake Navy Veterans charity and siphoning away millions of dollars was captured by U.S. Marshals in Portland, Ore., after nearly two years on the run, according to an ABC News report Tuesday.

The man was charged in Ohio in 2010 on counts of identity theft, fraud, and money laundering in connection with a bogus charity called the U.S. Navy Veterans Association that raised more than $100 million from unsuspecting donors around the country, according to the report.

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