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H.R. 2359 (114th): Disability Fraud Reduction and Unethical Deception (FRAUD) Prevention Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 15, 2015.

Disability Fraud Reduction and Unethical Deception (FRAUD) Prevention Act

Amends title II (Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) of the Social Security Act (SSAct) to authorize the Social Security Administration (SSA) to disqualify or suspend immediately from appearing as a claimant representative before it any individual who has been convicted of a felony in a federal or state court, or, in the case of an attorney, upon the individual's disbarment from any court or bar to which he or she was previously admitted to practice.

Amends SSAct titles II, VIII (Special Benefits for Certain World War II Veterans), and XVI (Supplemental Security Income) to subject to criminal penalties for fraud any conspiracy to commit specified offenses, and increase criminal as well as civil monetary penalties for certain individuals in positions of trust who commit fraud.

Amends SSAct title II to direct the SSA to establish rules under which fines and other appropriate sanctions may be imposed on claimant representatives for failure to comply with the SSA rules and regulations.

Amends SSAct title XI to: (1) establish a civil monetary penalty for any claimant representative who knowingly charges for services rendered in excess of the maximum fee prescribed by the SSA or allowed by a court, and (2) direct the SSA periodically to adjust civil monetary penalty maximum amounts for inflation.

Requires federal courts (which currently are merely authorized) to order defendants convicted of Social Security fraud to provide restitution to victims in certain cases.

Amends SSAct title II to ban any payment of benefits to individuals on whom a civil monetary penalty is imposed for fraudulently concealing work activity.

Directs the Inspector General of the SSA to conduct biennial reviews of the practices of a sample of the highest earning claimant representatives to ensure compliance with SSA policies.