A-18588, JUNE 9, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 809

A-18588: Jun 9, 1927

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IS NULL AND VOID UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3477. WHICH HAVE BEEN RECEIVED FROM W. ARE ALSO ENCLOSED. IN RETURN FOR WHICH THE ASSIGNMENT OF THE CHECKS WAS EXECUTED. TO HAVE HIM ENDORSE THEM IN FAVOR OF MR. IN VIEW OF THE FACTS ABOVE RELATED THE DEPARTMENT REQUESTS TO BE ADVISED IF IT IS POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO ENDORSE THESE CHECKS IN SUCH A MANNER. TO WHOM IT IS APPARENTLY DUE. UNLESS THEY ARE FREELY MADE AND EXECUTED IN THE PRESENCE OF AT LEAST TWO ATTESTING WITNESSES. THE ATTEMPTED ASSIGNMENT IN THIS CASE WAS EXECUTED BEFORE THE CHECKS HAD BEEN ISSUED OR THE CLAIM ALLOWED. SAID ASSIGNMENT OR TRANSFER IS "ABSOLUTELY NULL AND VOID.'. BOWEN TO THE PAYEE OF THE CHECKS WAS A PRIVATE MATTER AND THIS OFFICE CAN NOT.

A-18588, JUNE 9, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 809

CHECKS - ASSIGNMENT THE ATTEMPTED ASSIGNMENT OF CHECKS TO BE ISSUED BY THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES PURSUANT TO A CLAIM ALLOWED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, SUCH ASSIGNMENT HAVING BEEN EXECUTED BEFORE THE ISSUANCE OF THE CHECKS OR ALLOWANCE OF THE CLAIM, IS NULL AND VOID UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3477, REVISED STATUTES, AND CONFERS NO RIGHTS UPON THE ASSIGNEE TO THE PROCEEDS OF THE CHECKS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, JUNE 9, 1927:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF MAY 6, 1927, AS FOLLOWS:

THE DEPARTMENT ENCLOSES TREASURY CHECKS NO. 65064, DATED DECEMBER 4, 1923, FOR $48.00 AND NO. 95291, DATED JULY 23, 1924, FOR $93.50 IN SETTLEMENT OF SERVICES RENDERED TO AMERICAN VESSELS AND SEAMEN DURING THE PERIODS JANUARY 1, 1923, TO MARCH 31, 1923, AND JULY 1, 1922, TO DECEMBER 31, 1922, BY ROBERT H. FLOYD, AMERICAN CONSULAR AGENT AT RIO GRANDE, BRAZIL.

COPIES OF DISPATCHES DATED JULY 15, 1924, AND AUGUST 23, 1924, WHICH HAVE BEEN RECEIVED FROM W. F. HOFFMAN, AMERICAN CONSUL AT PORTO ALEGRO, BRAZIL, AND AN ASSIGNMENT OF THE CHECKS EXECUTED BY MR. FLOYD IN FAVOR OF A. LLEW BOWEN, AMERICAN CONSULAR AGENT AT RIO GRANDE, BRAZIL, ARE ALSO ENCLOSED.

IT APPEARS FROM THE ASSIGNMENT AND THE CORRESPONDENCE ENCLOSED THAT MR. BOWEN ADVANCED MONEY TO MR. FLOYD, IN RETURN FOR WHICH THE ASSIGNMENT OF THE CHECKS WAS EXECUTED. MR. FLOYD HAS NOT MADE ANY CLAIM OR REQUEST TO THE DEPARTMENT FOR SETTLEMENT OF THESE ITEMS OTHER THAN HIS ORIGINAL ACCOUNT, AND NEITHER THE DEPARTMENT NOR MR. BOWEN HAS BEEN ABLE TO LOCATE MR. FLOYD SINCE HE LEFT RIO GRANDE, BRAZIL, TO HAVE HIM ENDORSE THEM IN FAVOR OF MR. BOWEN, OR EXECUTE A POWER OF ATTORNEY IN FAVOR OF MR. BOWEN SO THAT HE COULD NEGOTIATE THE CHECKS.

IN VIEW OF THE FACTS ABOVE RELATED THE DEPARTMENT REQUESTS TO BE ADVISED IF IT IS POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO ENDORSE THESE CHECKS IN SUCH A MANNER, ON THE STRENGTH OF THE ASSIGNMENT, SO THAT THE MONEY COULD BE PAID TO MR. BOWEN, TO WHOM IT IS APPARENTLY DUE.

SECTION 3477 OF THE REVISED STATUTES, PROVIDES:

ALL TRANSFERS AND ASSIGNMENTS MADE OF ANY CLAIM UPON THE UNITED STATES, OR OF ANY PART OR SHARE THEREOF, OR INTEREST THEREIN, WHETHER ABSOLUTE OR CONDITIONAL, AND WHATEVER MAY BE THE CONSIDERATION THEREFOR, AND ALL POWERS OF ATTORNEY, ORDERS, OR OTHER AUTHORITIES FOR RECEIVING PAYMENT OF ANY SUCH CLAIM, OR OF ANY PART OR SHARE THEREOF, SHALL BE ABSOLUTELY NULL AND VOID, UNLESS THEY ARE FREELY MADE AND EXECUTED IN THE PRESENCE OF AT LEAST TWO ATTESTING WITNESSES, AFTER THE ALLOWANCE OF SUCH A CLAIM, THE ASCERTAINMENT OF THE AMOUNT DUE, AND THE ISSUING OF A WARRANT FOR THE PAYMENT THEREOF. SUCH TRANSFERS, ASSIGNMENTS, AND POWERS OF ATTORNEY, MUST RECITE THE WARRANT FOR PAYMENT, AND MUST BE ACKNOWLEDGED BY THE PERSON MAKING THEM, BEFORE AN OFFICER HAVING AUTHORITY TO TAKE ACKNOWLEDGMENTS OF DEEDS, AND SHALL BE CERTIFIED BY THE OFFICER; AND IT MUST APPEAR BY THE CERTIFICATE THAT THE OFFICER, AT THE TIME OF THE ACKNOWLEDGMENT, READ AND FULLY EXPLAINED THE TRANSFER, ASSIGNMENT, OR WARRANT OF ATTORNEY TO THE PERSON ACKNOWLEDGING THE SAME.

THE ATTEMPTED ASSIGNMENT IN THIS CASE WAS EXECUTED BEFORE THE CHECKS HAD BEEN ISSUED OR THE CLAIM ALLOWED. THEREFORE, UNDER THE PLAIN PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3477, REVISED STATUTES, QUOTED ABOVE, SAID ASSIGNMENT OR TRANSFER IS "ABSOLUTELY NULL AND VOID.' THE LOAN MADE BY MR. BOWEN TO THE PAYEE OF THE CHECKS WAS A PRIVATE MATTER AND THIS OFFICE CAN NOT, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, ASSIST IN ITS COLLECTION. AS IT APPEARS FROM THE RECORD THAT MR. FLOYD'S PRESENT ADDRESS IS UNKNOWN, THE TWO CHECKS IN QUESTION WILL BE RETAINED IN THIS OFFICE FOR SAFEKEEPING IN ACCORDANCE WITH BULLETIN NO. 3, PENDING CLAIM BY THE PERSON ENTITLED THERETO. IF NO CLAIM IS FILED WITHIN THREE FISCAL YEARS THE CHECKS WILL BE DEPOSITED TO THE CREDIT OF OUTSTANDING LIABILITIES IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 306 OF THE REVISED STATUTES.