An advocacy group told a House panel on Wednesday that a church alleged to have scammed veterans out of millions of dollars in service benefits should be a wake-up call for regulators of GI Bill education payments.

The testimony by the Veterans Education Success advocacy group was part of a House Veterans Affairs panel that delved into which schools are eligible to receive the benefits. Lawmakers are also considering new legislation to better protect veterans, which could signal coming changes as the House of Prayer activities come to light.

Veterans often believe they are going to a school that has been adequately vetted and will have a good return on investment, including strong career opportunities, Will Hubbard, vice president for veterans and military policy at Veterans Education Success, testified to the House panel.

“For too many student veterans, that turns out to not be the case,” Hubbard said. “As we saw [with] House of Prayer, there were hundreds of students that ended up in a cult, as they described. That’s certainly not what I think any American wants to see as an outcome for our veterans.”

“The biggest challenge we see is that fraud is unfortunately quite pervasive. When a student veteran applies to use their GI Bill, the expectation is there’s an implied stamp of approval at VA,” Hubbard told the House panel.

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