(TRENTON) – To deter the illegal act of falsely claiming to be a veteran of the United States Armed Forces, Assembly Democrats Carol Murphy and Sterley Stanley sponsored legislation to upgrade the crimes for those who misrepresent themselves as a member or veteran of the United States Armed Forces or organized militia. The measure was signed into law on Tuesday.
The law (formerly bill A-1121) will upgrade these crimes to a second degree if the actor obtains money, property, or other tangible benefits of $75,000 or more. A crime of the second degree would be punishable by five to ten years imprisonment, up to a $150,000 fine, or both. If the actor obtains money, property, or other tangible benefits less than $75,000, then the crime would remain as a crime of the third degree, subject to a minimum fine of $1,000.
Assemblywoman Murphy (D-Burlington) and Assemblyman Stanley (D-Middlesex) issued the following joint statement:
“Current and former members of our military have protected and served our country to earn their much-deserved benefits. Those who unjustly misrepresent themselves as US veterans, through ‘stolen valor’ to take advantage of our system deserve a harsh penalty. This law will ensure that those who break the law and impersonate a war hero receive the proper and upgraded punishment.”