AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Legislature is considering a bill that could impose a $10,000 fine on someone convicted of lying about winning military awards and then benefiting from that deception.
False claims of military deeds and awards have been the subject of a number of books and a national law, which has been declared unconstitutional. The bill reviewed Monday by the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee attempts to correct the flaws in the federal law.
Supporters say similar bills are being introduced in statehouses across the country. They call lying about military achievements or awards in order to gain something of value “egregious” behavior that needs to be addressed.
But a number of legal groups said such behavior is already covered by Maine’s broader theft-by-deception law.