A-33152, SEPTEMBER 26, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 138

A-33152: Sep 26, 1930

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

LEAVING DOUBT AS TO JUST WHAT EXPENSES WERE ACTUALLY INCURRED. THE ENTIRE CLAIM WILL BE DISALLOWED. WHEREIN WAS DISALLOWED HIS CLAIM FOR $157.90. COVERING TRAVEL AND OTHER EXPENSES ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN INCURRED AS AN INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT FROM NOVEMBER 1. THE ENTIRE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT CERTAIN ITEMS OF THE ALLEGED EXPENSES WERE FALSELY STATED AND NOT ACTUALLY INCURRED AS CLAIMED. LEAVING DOUBT AS TO JUST WHAT EXPENSES WERE INCURRED. IT APPEARS THAT THE CLAIMANT WAS AUTHORIZED BY ORDER DATED OCTOBER 17. THAT WHEN HIS EXPENSE ACCOUNTS WERE SUBMITTED SUSPICION WAS AROUSED BECAUSE REIMBURSEMENT WAS CLAIMED FOR MEALS AND LODGING AT UNIFORM RATES PRACTICALLY EVERY DAY.

A-33152, SEPTEMBER 26, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 138

TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHERS - FALSE STATEMENTS - VIOLATION OF OATH OF OFFICE WHERE AN EMPLOYEE MAKES FALSE STATEMENTS AS TO CERTAIN ITEMS IN HIS CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED, LEAVING DOUBT AS TO JUST WHAT EXPENSES WERE ACTUALLY INCURRED, THE ENTIRE CLAIM WILL BE DISALLOWED. THE PRESENTATION BY AN EMPLOYEE OF A FALSIFIED TRAVEL EXPENSE ACCOUNT CONSTITUTES A VIOLATION OF HIS OATH OF OFFICE AND THEREBY WORKS A FORFEITURE OF ALL ACCRUED AND UNPAID TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED BY HIM IN CONNECTION WITH THE DUTIES OF THE POSITION HE HELD UNDER SUCH OATH.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, SEPTEMBER 26, 1930:

SAMUEL E. MCGLATHERY, FORMER INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, REQUESTED AUGUST 6, 1930, REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT 029027, DATED MARCH 25, 1930, WHEREIN WAS DISALLOWED HIS CLAIM FOR $157.90, COVERING TRAVEL AND OTHER EXPENSES ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN INCURRED AS AN INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT FROM NOVEMBER 1, 1929, TO NOVEMBER 30, 1929. THE ENTIRE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT CERTAIN ITEMS OF THE ALLEGED EXPENSES WERE FALSELY STATED AND NOT ACTUALLY INCURRED AS CLAIMED, LEAVING DOUBT AS TO JUST WHAT EXPENSES WERE INCURRED.

IT APPEARS THAT THE CLAIMANT WAS AUTHORIZED BY ORDER DATED OCTOBER 17, 1929, TO PROCEED TO GREENSBORO, N.C., FOR TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY, EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 21, 1929, IN THE GREENSBORO DIVISION, FOR THE PURPOSE OF ASSISTING IN DISPOSING OF ACCUMULATED ARREARAGES IN THE ESTATE-TAX WORK; THAT WHEN HIS EXPENSE ACCOUNTS WERE SUBMITTED SUSPICION WAS AROUSED BECAUSE REIMBURSEMENT WAS CLAIMED FOR MEALS AND LODGING AT UNIFORM RATES PRACTICALLY EVERY DAY; THAT AN INVESTIGATION DISCLOSED THAT CERTAIN RECEIPTS SUPPORTING HIS CLAIM FOR LODGING IN OCTOBER, 1929, WERE FOR AMOUNTS LARGER BY A TOTAL OF $7 THAN WERE HIS ACTUAL EXPENSES THEREFOR; THAT DURING NOVEMBER, 1929, THE SAME SITUATION EXISTED REGARDING LODGING AND SUBSISTENCE RESULTING IN CHARGES AGGREGATING $29 MORE THAN WAS ACTUALLY SPENT; THAT CLAIMANT ADMITTED THAT IN MOST INSTANCES THE SUPPORTING VOUCHERS SUBMITTED WITH HIS EXPENSE ACCOUNTS FOR OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER, 1929, CALLED FOR LARGER AMOUNTS THAN WERE ACTUALLY PAID AND THAT HIS CHARGES FOR MEALS WERE IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNTS PAID THEREFOR TO THE EXTENT OF APPROXIMATELY $1 PER DIEM; THAT THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED FOR OCTOBER WAS PAID IN THE NOVEMBER, 1929, ACCOUNTS OF J. C. WILMER, SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENT, PHILADELPHIA, PA.; THAT PAYMENT WAS NOT MADE ON THE ORIGINAL VOUCHER SUBMITTED FOR NOVEMBER, 929; THAT AFTER THE INVESTIGATION A NEW VOUCHER FOR THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER WAS SUBMITTED BY THE CLAIMANT IN AN ATTEMPT TO ELIMINATE THE FALSIFIED ITEMS; THAT THE ORIGINAL NOVEMBER VOUCHER, ACCORDING TO REPORTS OF SPECIAL AGENTS ASSIGNED TO INVESTIGATE THE CASE, DISCLOSED, AMONG OTHERS, FALSE CHARGES FOR MEALS ON NOVEMBER 7 AND 8, 1929, AT WINDSOR, N.C., THE CHARGES BEING 95 CENTS AND 90 CENTS, RESPECTIVELY, IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNTS PAID BY HIM; THAT THE AMOUNT CLAIMED ON THE ORIGINAL VOUCHER WAS $3.25 FOR MEALS FOR EACH OF THOSE DATES; THAT, ACCORDINGLY, THE CORRECT CHARGE SHOULD HAVE BEEN $2.30 FOR NOVEMBER 7 AND $2.35 FOR NOVEMBER 8; THAT THE NEW VOUCHER CLAIMS FOR THESE DATES $2.75 AND $2.70, RESPECTIVELY; AND THAT, ACCORDINGLY, THERE IS ON THE NEW VOUCHER A FALSE CHARGE OF 45 CENTS FOR NOVEMBER 7 AND 35 CENTS FOR NOVEMBER 8.

IN 9 COMP. GEN. 449, WHEREIN IT WAS HELD THAT THE FALSIFICATION OF AN EXPENSE ACCOUNT BY A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE CONSTITUTES SUCH A VIOLATION OF THE OATH OF OFFICE AND BREACH OF CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT AS TO CAUSE FORFEITURE OF COMPENSATION DUE FOR PERIODS PRIOR TO THE DATE OF DISMISSAL, IT WAS STATED THAT SUCH FALSIFICATION---

* * * CONSTITUTES A STEALING OF THE PUBLIC MONEYS AND A FRAUD UPON THE UNITED STATES, AND MORE OR LESS IN DISRUPTION OF THE GOVERNMENT RATHER THAN IN ITS SUPPORT AS REQUIRED BY OATH OF OFFICE. THE RECOVERY BACK OF THE PAYMENTS UNLAWFULLY OBTAINED MAY BE FOR CONSIDERATION IN MITIGATION OF PUNISHMENT FOR THE CRIMINAL OFFENSE, BUT CAN GIVE NO CIVIL RIGHTS TO A PAYMENT BY THE UNITED STATES. THE FRAUDULENT ACTION OF THIS EMPLOYEE PRECLUDES THE ADMINISTRATIVE CERTIFICATION OF A PAY ROLL OR PAY VOUCHER WITH THE MEANING THAT THE SERVICES WERE FULLY AND FAITHFULLY PERFORMED. AN EMPLOYEE CAN NOT BE CONSIDERED AS PERFORMING THE DUTIES OF HIS EMPLOYMENT IF AT THE TIME HE IS ALSO WORKING OUT AND PRACTICING A FRAUD ON THE GOVERNMENT. * * *

UNDER THIS PRINCIPLE THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE FOR FORFEITING, ALSO, UNPAID ITEMS OF TRAVELING EXPENSES INCURRED BY AN EMPLOYEE IN CONNECTION WITH THE DUTIES OF THE POSITION HE HELD UNDER HIS OATH OF OFFICE. SEE, ALSO, IN THIS CONNECTION, SECTION 1086, REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 172 OF THE JUDICIAL CODE, ACT OF MARCH 3, 1911, 36 STAT. 1141.

THE RESTATEMENT OF THE CLAIM TO INCLUDE ONLY ITEMS PRESUMED TO BE CORRECT, THAT IS, THE ABANDONMENT BY THE CLAIMANT OF HIS CLAIM AS TO ITEMS ORIGINALLY CLAIMED, AFTER THEY ARE DISCOVERED TO HAVE BEEN FRAUDULENT, IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO ERADICATE THE TAINT OF FRAUD FROM THE CLAIM. THE FRAUD PLACES ALL OF THE ITEMS IN THE CLAIM UNDER SUSPICION. SEE IN THIS CONNECTION DECISIONS OF OCTOBER 1, 1927, AND APRIL 7, 1928, A-18592 AND A- 22164, RESPECTIVELY, TO THE EFFECT THAT WHERE FALSE STATEMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE AS TO ITEMS IN AN EXPENSE ACCOUNT, THE ENTIRE CLAIM WILL BE DISALLOWED.