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Schmidt Seeking Authority to Compensate Victims of Financial Fraud


Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says federal funding should be made available to compensate senior citizens defrauded of their life savings.


In a bipartisan letter signed by 40 state and territory attorneys general, Schmidt asked Congress to expand the 1984 Victims of Crime Act to allow states to reimburse seniors for certain fraud losses. The provisions are contained in Senate Bill 3487, known as the Edith Shorougian Senior Victims of Fraud Compensation Act.


Current federal law provides for state-run victim compensation programs, which can help pay certain costs incurred by victims of violent crime through no fault of their own. The proposed federal legislation would expand that program to also assist certain senior victims of financial fraud.


The program is funded by penalties and fines paid by convicted criminals. The fund reimburses states for 60 percent of payments to victims of crimes, but only for certain eligible items such as medical bills, lost wages and funeral and burial expenses. Edith’s Bill also would make more funds available by directing fines and penalties and related funds from white collar prosecutions into the program.

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