A-11189, FEBRUARY 17, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 638

A-11189: Feb 17, 1926

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

SAID AMOUNT IN THE RETIREMENT FUND MAY NOT BE APPLIED TO PAY THE CLAIMS OF INDIVIDUALS FOR FUNDS LOST IN THE REGISTERED MAIL STOLEN BY THE FORMER EMPLOYEE OVER AND ABOVE THE AMOUNT OF THE INDEMNITIES FOR WHICH THE GOVERNMENT IS LEGALLY LIABLE. MAY BE PAID TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT TO BE APPLIED IN PARTIAL SATISFACTION OF LOSSES RESULTING FROM THE THEFT OF REGISTERED MAIL BY JACKSON WHO WAS CONVICTED AND SERVED SENTENCE IN A FEDERAL PENITENTIARY. VOUCHER FOR WHICH WAS SIGNED BY HIM. IT IS STATED ON BEHALF OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT IN LETTER FROM THE ACTING POSTMASTER GENERAL TO YOU. RECOVERY WAS MADE FROM JACKSON. SOME OF THE MONEY RECOVERED WAS THE IDENTICAL CURRENCY CONTAINED IN THE REGISTERED ARTICLES STOLEN.

A-11189, FEBRUARY 17, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 638

ACCOUNTING, SET-OFF - RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS OF POSTAL EMPLOYEES THE AMOUNT IN THE RETIREMENT FUND TO THE CREDIT OF A FORMER POSTAL EMPLOYEE MAY BE WITHHELD FROM THE EMPLOYEE AND APPLIED TO LIQUIDATE AN INDEBTEDNESS TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE AMOUNT OF INDEMNITY PAID BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT ON REGISTERED MAIL STOLEN BY THE EMPLOYEE, BUT SAID AMOUNT IN THE RETIREMENT FUND MAY NOT BE APPLIED TO PAY THE CLAIMS OF INDIVIDUALS FOR FUNDS LOST IN THE REGISTERED MAIL STOLEN BY THE FORMER EMPLOYEE OVER AND ABOVE THE AMOUNT OF THE INDEMNITIES FOR WHICH THE GOVERNMENT IS LEGALLY LIABLE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, FEBRUARY 17, 1926:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 8, 1925, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER THE AMOUNT OF $150.77 IN THE CIVILIAN RETIREMENT FUND TO THE CREDIT OF WILLIAM S. JACKSON, FORMER POSTAL CLERK, NEW YORK CITY, MAY BE PAID TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT TO BE APPLIED IN PARTIAL SATISFACTION OF LOSSES RESULTING FROM THE THEFT OF REGISTERED MAIL BY JACKSON WHO WAS CONVICTED AND SERVED SENTENCE IN A FEDERAL PENITENTIARY.

THE RECORDS OF THIS OFFICE DISCLOSE THAT THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT HAS PAID A TOTAL OF $159.75 INDEMNITY FOR REGISTERED MAIL STOLEN BY THE FORMER CLERK, AND THAT THE AMOUNT OF $31.85, REPRESENTING COMPENSATION DUE JACKSON WHEN SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE NOVEMBER 1, 1923, VOUCHER FOR WHICH WAS SIGNED BY HIM, HAS BEEN APPLIED TO REDUCE SUCH INDEBTEDNESS TO $127.90. ON THIS BASIS THERE WOULD BE DUE THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT $127.90 FROM THE CIVIL RETIREMENT FUND AND A BALANCE OF $22.87 FOR OTHER PROPER DISPOSITION.

HOWEVER, IT IS STATED ON BEHALF OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT IN LETTER FROM THE ACTING POSTMASTER GENERAL TO YOU, DATED AUGUST 27, 1925, AS FOLLOWS:

AN INVESTIGATION MADE BY POST OFFICE INSPECTORS DISCLOSED THAT WILLIAM S. JACKSON HAD STOLEN REGISTERED LETTERS INVOLVING THE SUM OF $63,227.89; IN CONNECTION WITH WHICH THIS DEPARTMENT HAS PAID INDEMNITY TO THE LOSERS IN THE SUM OF $150.77. RECOVERY WAS MADE FROM JACKSON, THE SURETIES ON HIS BOND, AND MERCHANTS FROM WHOM HE HAD MADE PURCHASES IN THE SUM OF $34,147.06. SOME OF THE MONEY RECOVERED WAS THE IDENTICAL CURRENCY CONTAINED IN THE REGISTERED ARTICLES STOLEN, AND WAS RETURNED TO THE OWNERS; THE REMAINDER WAS PRORATED AMONG THE LOSERS.

IN VIEW OF THE AMOUNT STOLEN BY JACKSON, AND THE FACT THAT A LARGE PART OF IT HAS NOT BEEN RECOVERED, THE DEPARTMENT WILL APPLY THE AMOUNT OF HIS SALARY TO FURTHER REIMBURSE THE LOSERS OF THE REGISTERED LETTERS.

IT IS NOT DISCLOSED ON WHICH ITEM OR ITEMS THE FORMER CLERK WAS CONVICTED AND SENTENCED, AND WHILE THE EMPLOYEE DOES NOT ADMIT THE EMBEZZLEMENT AND THEFT OF SO GREAT A SUM, THE FACTS DISCLOSED AND THE STATEMENTS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE AS TO THE AMOUNT STOLEN OR EMBEZZLED BY THE FORMER EMPLOYEE WILL BE ACCEPTED AS SUFFICIENT TO SHOW THAT THERE IS AT LEAST A GREATER AMOUNT DUE THE LOSERS OF REGISTERED MAIL THAN REMAINS IN THE RETIREMENT FUND AFTER DEDUCTING THE AMOUNT DUE THE GOVERNMENT AS SET-OFF AGAINST THE AMOUNT OF INDEMNITY PAID BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT ON THE REGISTERED MAIL.

THE QUESTION IN THIS CASE FOR DECISION IS WHETHER THERE MAY BE WITHHELD FROM THE FORMER EMPLOYEE THE AMOUNT OF $22.87 TO HIS CREDIT IN THE RETIREMENT FUND, THE SAME TO BE CREDITED TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT TO REIMBURSE THOSE PERSONS WHO LOST THROUGH THE THEFT OF REGISTERED MAIL.

SECTION 3926, REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 27, 1897, 29 STAT. 599, AND ACT OF MARCH 3, 1903, 32 STAT. 1174, PROVIDES FOR INDEMNIFYING SENDERS OF FIRST-CLASS REGISTERED MAIL WITHIN THE MAXIMUM LIMITATION OF $100 FOR ANY REGISTERED PIECE, OR THE ACTUAL VALUE THEREOF WHERE THAT IS LESS THAN $100 AND FOR WHICH NO OTHER COMPENSATION OR REIMBURSEMENT TO THE LOSER HAS BEEN MADE. THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1911, 36 STAT. 1337, MAKES SIMILAR PROVISIONS FOR THIRD AND FOURTH CLASS DOMESTIC REGISTERED MAIL WITH MAXIMUM LIMITATION OF $25 FOR A SINGLE PIECE OF REGISTERED MAIL. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE SENDERS OF THE REGISTERED MAIL STOLEN BY JACKSON HAVE BEEN INDEMNIFIED TO THE EXTENT AUTHORIZED UNDER THESE STATUTES, THUS RELIEVING THE GOVERNMENT FROM ANY FURTHER FINANCIAL LIABILITY IN CONNECTION WITH THE REGISTRY OF THE MAIL SENT BY THEM. THE ONLY AUTHORITY FOR WITHHOLDING FROM A FORMER EMPLOYEE THE AMOUNT TO HIS CREDIT IN THE CIVIL RETIREMENT FUND IS TO LIQUIDATE AN INDEBTEDNESS TO THE GOVERNMENT. IT APPEARS THAT IN THIS CASE THE FULL LOSS OF THE GOVERNMENT BY REASON OF THE CRIMINAL ACTION OF THE EMPLOYEE WILL HAVE BEEN SATISFIED BY PAYMENT TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT OF THE SUM OF $127.90 FROM THE CIVIL RETIREMENT FUND. THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO APPLY THE BALANCE OF $22.87 TO THE CREDIT OF THE FORMER EMPLOYEE TO MEET CLAIMS OF THE INDIVIDUALS WHO LOST BY REASON OF THE CRIMINAL ACTS OF THE FORMER EMPLOYEE. WHATEVER MAY BE THE CIVIL LIABILITY OF THE FORMER EMPLOYEE TO THE INDIVIDUAL LOSERS, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY IN THE GOVERNMENT TO APPLY ANY FUNDS BELONGING TO THE EMPLOYEE TO REIMBURSE SUCH LOSERS IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNT OF THE LEGAL LIABILITY OF THE GOVERNMENT TO THEM.

YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT THE AMOUNT OF $127.90 SHOULD BE CREDITED TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT AND THE SUM OF $22.87 PAID TO THE FORMER EMPLOYEE.