A-2465, JULY 26, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 112

A-2465: Jul 26, 1924

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1924: I HAVE YOUR REQUEST OF JULY 3. THE AMOUNT TO BIALOSTOSKY'S CREDIT IN THE RETIREMENT FUND IS REPORTED AS $101.02. THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT IS ASSERTING A CLAIM AMOUNTING TO $120.49 AGAINST ANY FUNDS DUE BIALOSTOSKY. ON INSURED PARCEL-POST PACKAGES LOST IN THE MAILS AND WHICH ARE ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN TAKEN BY BIALOSTOSKY. THE INDIVIDUAL ITEMS FORMING THE BASIS OF THIS CLAIM FOR SET-OFF ARE AS FOLLOWS: INSURED PARCEL NO. 847. IT WAS STATED THAT THE AMOUNTS PAID AS INDEMNITY HAD BEEN VERIFIED AND THAT THE CLAIM OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT HAD BEEN ESTABLISHED AS A PRIMA FACIE CLAIM. WITH YOUR PRESENT SUBMISSION YOU FORWARD A COPY OF THE CONFESSION ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN SIGNED BY BIALOSTOSKY.

A-2465, JULY 26, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 112

REFUND OF CIVILIAN RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS - SET-OFF FOR THEFTS FROM INSURED PARCEL-POST MAIL THE AMOUNT IN THE RETIREMENT FUND TO THE CREDIT OF A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT MAY BE USED TO LIQUIDATE A CLAIM AGAINST THE EMPLOYEE BY REASON OF HIS THEFTS OF INSURED PARCEL-POST PACKAGES TO THE EXTENT OF THE INDEMNITY PAID THEREON BY THE GOVERNMENT WHERE OPPORTUNITY HAS BEEN AFFORDED THE EMPLOYEE TO REPLY TO THE CLAIM FOR SET-OFF AND HIS LIABILITY FOR THE THEFTS IN QUESTION HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, JULY 26, 1924:

I HAVE YOUR REQUEST OF JULY 3, 1924, FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF THE CLAIM OF MORRIS BIALOSTOSKY FOR REFUND OF RETIREMENT DEDUCTION MADE FROM HIS SALARY WHILE AN EMPLOYEE OF THE POSTAL SERVICE. THE AMOUNT TO BIALOSTOSKY'S CREDIT IN THE RETIREMENT FUND IS REPORTED AS $101.02, BUT THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT IS ASSERTING A CLAIM AMOUNTING TO $120.49 AGAINST ANY FUNDS DUE BIALOSTOSKY, ON ACCOUNT OF INDEMNITY PAID TO HAVENS AND CO., OF NEW YORK CITY, ON INSURED PARCEL-POST PACKAGES LOST IN THE MAILS AND WHICH ARE ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN TAKEN BY BIALOSTOSKY. THE INDIVIDUAL ITEMS FORMING THE BASIS OF THIS CLAIM FOR SET-OFF ARE AS FOLLOWS:

INSURED PARCEL NO. 847, MAILED OCTOBER 17, 1922, AT CALL AWAY, NEBRASKA, BY JOY CHILES, ADDRESSED TO HAVENS AND COMPANY, 19 THOMPSON STREET, NEW YORK, N.Y. INDEMNITY IN SUM OF $20.10 PAID JUNE 23, 1923, BY P.M., OMAHA, NEBRASKA. * * * CLAIM NO. 7943.

INSURED PARCEL NO. 1803, MAILED OCTOBER 25, 1922, AT BELLEVILLE, N.J.,BY HELEN B. COLLARD, ADDRESSED TO HAVENS AND COMPANY. INDEMNITY OF $5 PAID SEPTEMBER 5, 1923, BY P.M., NEWARK, N.J., UNDER NEWARK CLAIM NO. 28149.

INSURED PARCEL NO. 417, MAILED NOVEMBER 1, 1922, AT NEW HOPE, PA., BY WILLIAM PURSELL, ADDRESSED TO HAVENS AND COMPANY, NEW YORK, N.Y. CLAIM PAID JANUARY 20, 1923, IN THE SUM OF $14.18, BY P.M., PHILADELPHIA, PA., UNDER PHILADELPHIA CLAIM NO. 3396.

INSURED PARCEL NO. 50402, MAILED NOVEMBER 7, 1922, AT DECATUR, ILLINOIS, BY FRANK CURTIS, ADDRESSED TO HAVENS AND COMPANY, NEW YORK, N.Y. CLAIM PAID FEBRUARY 10, 1923, IN THE SUM OF $3.21 BY P.M., CHICAGO, ILLINOIS,

INSURED PARCEL NO. 13540, MAILED FEBRUARY 9, 1923, AT TUCSON, ARIZONA, BY B.F. DANIELS, ADDRESSED TO HAVENS AND COMPANY, NEW YORK, N.Y. CLAIM PAID JUNE 1, 1923, IN THE SUM OF $78.00 BY P.M., PHOENIX, ARIZONA,

IN MY DECISION OF MAY 31, 1924, IT WAS STATED THAT THE AMOUNTS PAID AS INDEMNITY HAD BEEN VERIFIED AND THAT THE CLAIM OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT HAD BEEN ESTABLISHED AS A PRIMA FACIE CLAIM, BUT THAT NO REFUND TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT COULD BE AUTHORIZED IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING THAT BIALOSTOSKY HAD BEEN AFFORDED AN OPPORTUNITY TO ANSWER THE CLAIM SO PRESENTED. WITH YOUR PRESENT SUBMISSION YOU FORWARD A COPY OF THE CONFESSION ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN SIGNED BY BIALOSTOSKY, AS FOLLOWS:

I, MORRIS BIALOSTOSKY, BEING FIRST DULY SWORN, AND BEING UNINFLUENCED BY THREATS OR PROMISES, MAKE THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT, REALIZING THAT SAME MAY BE USED AGAINST ME: I AM A LETTER CARRIER ASSIGNED TO VARICK STREET STATION, NEW YORK P.O. I SERVE ROUTE NO. 24. WHILE DISTRIBUTING THE MAIL FOR MY ROUTE I STOLE FOUR PARCELS, ADDRESSED TO HAVENS AND CO., 17 THOMPSON STREET, NEW YORK, N.Y. THESE PARCELS WERE STOLEN BY ME FROM ROUTE 4.

WHILE SERVING MY ROUTE I WENT INTO 204 FRANKLIN STREET AND THERE OPENED THE FOUR PARCELS I STOLE. I THREW THE WRAPPERS AWAY IN THE STREET AND PUT THE CONTENTS, 10 RINGS AND TWO PINS, IN MY POCKETS. I ADMIT THAT TWO OF THESE RINGS WERE MARKED FOR IDENTIFICATION AND THE IDENTIFICATION MARKS WERE SHOWN TO ME AFTER I PRODUCED THEM FROM MY POCKETS. ALL FOUR PARCELS WERE INSURED AND THE RINGS AND PINS CONTAINED THEREIN APPARENTLY OF GOLD.

I HAVE BEEN STEALING PARCELS SINCE NOVEMBER 1, 1922, AND HAVE RECEIVED(AT) LEAST $100 THROUGH SELLING THE CONTENTS OF THESE PARCELS.

(SIGNED) MORRIS BIOLSTOSKY.

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO BEFORE ME AT NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 9, 1923.

R.E. BUSH,

P.O. INSPECTOR.

IN ANSWER TO NOTICE OF THE CLAIM OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, BIALOSTOSKY IN LETTERS, DATED APRIL 29 AND JUNE 3, 1924, WRITTEN FROM ATLANTA, GA., WHERE HE IS CONFINED, DENIES ANY KNOWLEDGE OF THE THEFT IN QUESTION, ALLEGING THAT AT THE TIME HE WAS UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS, BEING A DRUG ADDICT; THAT HE DID NOT KNOW WHAT HE WAS DOING EITHER AT THE TIME OF THE ALLEGED THEFT OR WHEN HE SIGNED THE ALLEGED CONFESSION. PLEADS POVERTY AND THAT HE NEEDS THE MONEY TO CONTRIBUTE TOWARD A SICK MOTHER.

BIALOSTOSKY'S STATEMENTS IN THE TWO LETTERS SET FORTH NO FACTS WHICH WOULD OVERCOME HIS SIGNED CONFESSION. THE FACT THAT HE MAY NOT HAVE HAD KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT HE WAS DOING DOES NOT RELEASE HIM FROM PECUNIARY RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PACKAGES TAKEN BY HIM. THERE HAS BEEN NO DIRECT EVIDENCE SUBMITTED WHICH WOULD ESTABLISH THE ACTUAL TAKING OF THE PARCELS IN QUESTION BY BIALOSTOSKY, BUT IN VIEW OF HIS CONFESSION THAT HE TOOK FOUR PACKAGES ADDRESSED TO HAVENS AND COMPANY, AND THAT HE HAD BEEN TAKING PACKAGES SINCE NOVEMBER 1, 1922, THE PRESUMPTION IS SUFFICIENTLY STRONG TO WARRANT HOLDING HIM RESPONSIBLE FOR THE THEFT OF ALL OF THE PACKAGES IN QUESTION. ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE PROPER POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION MAY BE REIMBURSED TO THE EXTENT OF THE ENTIRE AMOUNT ($101.02) TO BIALOSTOSKY'S CREDIT IN THE RETIREMENT FUND.