A-99757, JANUARY 11, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 603

A-99757: Jan 11, 1939

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NONPAYMENT OF ANY ITEM OF EXPENSE VOUCHER WHERE AN EMPLOYEE'S SERVICES WERE TERMINATED. THE EMPLOYEE ACKNOWLEDGES THAT THE PER DIEM ITEMS OF THE VOUCHERS ARE NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FACTS. NO PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON THE VOUCHERS. OF THE ITEMS ARE FREE FROM MISREPRESENTATION. IS AS FOLLOWS: I AM TRANSMITTING HEREWITH TWO TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHERS SUBMITTED IN FAVOR OF WADE H. THE RELIABILITY OF WHICH ARE BEYOND QUESTION. MORROW'S SERVICES AS FIELD SUPERVISOR WERE TERMINATED. IS ACCORDINGLY TRANSMITTED TO YOUR OFFICE. LEAVING DOUBT AS TO JUST WHAT EXPENSES WERE ACTUALLY INCURRED. THE ENTIRE CLAIM WILL BE DISALLOWED. THIS CHECK WAS DRAWN AGAINST THE APPROPRIATION "SALARIES AND EXPENSES.

A-99757, JANUARY 11, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 603

TRAVELING EXPENSES - FRAUDULENT STATEMENTS - PAYMENT OF SALARY ON DISMISSAL FROM SERVICE, AND NONPAYMENT OF ANY ITEM OF EXPENSE VOUCHER WHERE AN EMPLOYEE'S SERVICES WERE TERMINATED, WITH PREJUDICE BECAUSE OF MISSTATEMENTS IN HIS TRAVELING EXPENSE VOUCHERS, AND THE EMPLOYEE ACKNOWLEDGES THAT THE PER DIEM ITEMS OF THE VOUCHERS ARE NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FACTS, NO PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON THE VOUCHERS, THE MILEAGE ITEMS CLAIMED BEING SO INTERMINGLED WITH AND DEPENDENT UPON HIS STATEMENTS WITH RESPECT TO THE PER DIEM ITEMS THAT THE FRAUDULENT MISREPRESENTATION RENDERS IMPOSSIBLE A DETERMINATION WHICH, IF ANY, OF THE ITEMS ARE FREE FROM MISREPRESENTATION, BUT, IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE OF IMPROPER PAYMENTS, HIS UNPAID SALARY MAY BE PAID TO HIM, THE DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE HOLDING THAT THE SUBMISSION OF A FRAUDULENT EXPENSE ACCOUNT CONSTITUTES A BREACH OF THE OATH OF OFFICE AND WORKS A FORFEITURE OF ALL ACCRUED AND UNPAID COMPENSATION BEING NO LONGER APPLICABLE BECAUSE OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 24, 1931, 46 STAT. 1415.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE GOVERNOR, FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION, JANUARY 11, 939:

YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 1, 1938, IS AS FOLLOWS:

I AM TRANSMITTING HEREWITH TWO TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHERS SUBMITTED IN FAVOR OF WADE H. MORROW, FORMER FIELD SUPERVISOR, ONE OF WHICH COVERS THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 16 TO 30, 1938, IN THE AMOUNT OF $77.65, AND THE OTHER THE PERIOD OCTOBER 1 TO 15, 1938, IN THE AMOUNT OF $84.25.

I AM INCLOSING ALSO COPY OF LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 1, 1938, FROM L. C. STREATER, REGIONAL MANAGER, EMERGENCY CROP AND FEED LOAN OFFICE, ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, TO MR. MORROW, SETTING FORTH SPECIFIC INFORMATION RELATIVE TO DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN HIS MOVEMENTS AND WHEREABOUTS, AS SHOWN IN THESE VOUCHERS DURING THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 24 TO OCTOBER 12, 1938, AND HIS ACTUAL MOVEMENTS AND WHEREABOUTS, AS HAD BEEN ASCERTAINED BY MR. STREATER FROM OTHER SOURCES, THE RELIABILITY OF WHICH ARE BEYOND QUESTION; COPY OF LETTER OF NOVEMBER 8, 1938, FROM MR. MORROW TO MR. STREATER; COPY OF LETTER OF NOVEMBER 9, 1938, FROM MR. STREATER TO MR. MORROW; COPY OF LETTER OF NOVEMBER 14, 1938, FROM MR. MORROW TO MR. STREATER; AND COPY OF LETTER OF NOVEMBER 16, 1938, FROM MR. STREATER TO DIRECTOR S. P. LINDSEY, JR., EMERGENCY CROP AND FEED LOAN SECTION, FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION.

MR. MORROW'S SERVICES AS FIELD SUPERVISOR WERE TERMINATED, WITH PREJUDICE, AS OF THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS OCTOBER 28, 1938, BECAUSE OF MISSTATEMENTS AS TO HIS MOVEMENTS AND WHEREABOUTS, SET FORTH IN THESE TRAVEL VOUCHERS. THE VOUCHER FOR $77.65 HAD BEEN CLEARED BY YOUR OFFICE ON PREAUDIT, BUT A CHECK IN PAYMENT THEREOF HAD NOT BEEN ISSUED AT THE TIME THE FIRST INFORMATION RELATIVE TO MR. MORROW'S CASE CAME TO THE ATTENTION OF THIS OFFICE. IT, TOGETHER WITH THE VOUCHER FOR THE FIRST HALF OF OCTOBER, IS ACCORDINGLY TRANSMITTED TO YOUR OFFICE, IT APPEARING THAT THIS CASE FALLS WITHIN THE RULE, REFERRED TO IN DECISIONS OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL DATED APRIL 10, 1930 (9 COMP. GEN. 449) AND SEPTEMBER 26, 1930 (10 COMP. GEN. 138), THAT 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 FOREGOING DECISIONS PROVIDE ALSO THAT FALSIFICATION OF EXPENSE ACCOUNTS BY AN EMPLOYEE CONSTITUTES SUCH A VIOLATION OF THE OATH OF OFFICE AND BREACH OF CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT AS TO CAUSE THE FORFEITURE OF COMPENSATION DUE FOR PERIODS PRIOR TO DATE OF SUSPENSION AND DISMISSAL. IN ACCORDANCE THEREWITH, I AM INCLOSING FOR PROPER DISPOSAL, CHECK NO. 156,098, ISSUED DECEMBER 1, 1938, BY G. F. ALLEN, CHIEF DISBURSING OFFICER, SYMBOL 92-716, IN FAVOR OF WADE H. MORROW, IN THE AMOUNT OF $65.00, ISSUED ON D.O. VOUCHER 815,926, COVERING COMPENSATION FOR THE PERIOD OCTOBER 16 TO 28, 1938, INCLUSIVE. THIS CHECK WAS DRAWN AGAINST THE APPROPRIATION "SALARIES AND EXPENSES, FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION, 1939.'

THE LATEST ADDRESS OF MR. MORROW IS C/O UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN UNION, ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN.

THE LETTER OF NOVEMBER 1, 1938, TO MR. MORROW, FROM THE REGIONAL MANAGER, IS AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO MY TELEGRAM, REQUESTING MR. WILLIS TO IMMEDIATELY PLACE YOU ON FURLOUGH PENDING INVESTIGATION OF YOUR ACCOUNTS. IT APPEARS FROM INFORMATION WHICH I HAVE THAT THERE ARE DISCREPANCIES IN SOME OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHERS SUBMITTED BY YOU. YOUR ATTENTION IS ESPECIALLY DIRECTED TO YOUR TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHERS FOR THE PERIOD FROM SEPTEMBER 16, 1938, TO OCTOBER 15, 1938.

I THINK THAT IT IS ONLY FAIR THAT YOU BE GIVEN EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO CLARIFY THESE DISCREPANCIES. I AM, THEREFORE, PLACING BEFORE YOU A STATEMENT OF THE CLAIMS SUBMITTED IN YOUR VOUCHERS, TOGETHER WITH THE INFORMATION WHICH I HAVE, SHOWING THE DISCREPANCIES IN YOUR ACCOUNTING FOR TIME AND MILEAGE. I REQUEST THAT YOU SUBMIT A WRITTEN EXPLANATION OF THESE DISCREPANCIES, AND I WOULD ASK THAT YOU DO SO BY MAKING A SEPARATE EXPLANATION FOR EACH DAY. THE DISCREPANCIES TO WHICH I MAKE SPECIAL REFERENCE ARE AS FOLLOWS:

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 1938

YOUR TRAVEL VOUCHER SHOWS THAT YOU PERFORMED OFFICE DUTIES IN BAY CITY FROM 8:00 A.M. TO 1:00 P.M.

I HAVE INFORMATION THAT DURING THE MORNING OF SEPTEMBER 24 YOU WERE IN EAST LANSING, MICHIGAN, OVER 80 MILES FROM BAY CITY.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 1938

YOUR TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHER SHOWS THAT YOU BEGAN WORK IN BAY CITY AT 8:00 A.M., AND FINISHED WORK AT MT. PLEASANT AT 5:30 P.M., CLAIMING $3.00 PER DIEM AND $6.40 FOR 128 MILES TRAVELED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS FROM BAY CITY TO GLADWIN AND GLADWIN TO MT. PLEASANT.

I HAVE INFORMATION WHICH INDICATES THAT IN THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING OF SEPTEMBER 26 YOU WERE IN BAY CITY, YOUR OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 1938

YOUR TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHER SHOWS THAT YOU BEGAN WORK AT MT. PLEASANT AT 8:00 A.M.; THAT YOU LEFT MT. PLEASANT AT 10:30 A.M., TRAVELING 52 MILES TO BAY CITY, ARRIVING THERE AT 11:45 A.M. YOU CLAIM $2.00 PER DIEM FOR SUBSISTENCE AND $2.60 FOR OFFICIAL MILEAGE.

I HAVE INFORMATION THAT BETWEEN 8:00 A.M. AND 11:45 A.M., ON SEPTEMBER 27 YOU WERE IN BAY CITY, YOUR OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 1938

YOUR TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHER SHOWS THAT YOU TRAVELED IN YOUR CAR FROM BAY CITY TO BAD AXE, WHERE YOU FINISHED WORK AT 5:30 P.M., AND FOR WHICH YOU CLAIMED $3.00 PER DIEM FOR SUBSISTENCE ON THE BASIS THAT YOU REMAINED AWAY FROM YOUR OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS OVER NIGHT.

I HAVE INFORMATION WHICH INDICATES THAT YOU WERE IN BAY CITY DURING THE EVENING OF SEPTEMBER 28.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 1938

YOUR TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHER SHOWS THAT YOU BEGAN WORK AT BAD AXE AT 8:00 A.M.; THAT YOU LEFT BAD AXE AT 10:00 A.M., AND ARRIVED IN SAGINAW AT 11:30 A.M.; THAT FROM 1:00 TO 2:00 P.M., YOU TRAVELED IN THE VICINITY OF SAGINAW, LEAVING THAT POINT AT 2:00 P.M., AND ARRIVING IN BAY CITY AT 2:30 P.M. YOU CLAIM $3.00 PER DIEM FOR SUBSISTENCE AND $5.15 OFFICIAL MILEAGE FOR 103 MILES TRAVELED IN YOUR CAR BETWEEN 10:00 A.M. AND 2:30 P.M.

I HAVE INFORMATION WHICH INDICATES THAT YOU WERE IN BAY CITY BETWEEN 8:00 A.M. AND 2:00 P.M. ON SEPTEMBER 29.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 1938

YOUR TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHER SHOWS THAT YOU BEGAN WORK AT BAY CITY AT 8:00 A.M., FINISHING WORK THERE AT 5:00 P.M., AND THAT OFFICE WORK WAS PERFORMED DURING THESE HOURS. NO CLAIM WAS MADE FOR PER DIEM OR OFFICIAL MILEAGE.

I HAVE INFORMATION THAT YOU WERE IN ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, OVER 100 MILES AWAY FROM BAY CITY ON THE AFTERNOON OF SEPTEMBER 30.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 3, 1938

YOUR TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHER SHOWS THAT YOU FINISHED WORK AT 6:00 P.M. AT SANDUSKY, HAVING TRAVELED THERE IN YOUR CAR FROM BAY CITY BY WAY OF YALE. YOU CLAIM $3.00 PER DIEM FOR SUBSISTENCE ON THE BASIS THAT YOU REMAINED AWAY FROM YOUR OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS OVER NIGHT.

I HAVE INFORMATION WHICH INDICATES THAT YOU WERE IN BAY CITY THE NIGHT OF OCTOBER 3.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 1938

YOUR TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHER SHOWS THAT YOU BEGAN WORK AT SANDUSKY AT 8:00 A.M. AND TRAVELED IN YOUR CAR FROM THERE TO CROSWELL, ARRIVING THERE AT 9:30; THAT FROM 10:00 A.M. TO 1:00 P.M. YOU WERE TRAVELING IN THE VICINITY OF CROSWELL; THAT YOU LEFT CROSWELL AT 3:00 P.M., ARRIVING IN BAY CITY AT 5:00 P.M. YOU CLAIM $3.00 PER DIEM FOR SUBSISTENCE AND $8.15 FOR OFFICIAL MILEAGE OF 163 MILES TRAVELED BETWEEN 8:00 A.M. AND 5:00 P.M.

I HAVE INFORMATION WHICH INDICATES THAT YOU WERE IN BAY CITY THE ENTIRE MORNING OF OCTOBER 4.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1938

YOUR TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHER SHOWS THAT YOU LEFT BAY CITY AT 1:00 P.M. AND ARRIVED IN LAPEER AT 2:30 P.M.; THAT FROM 2:30 P.M. TO 3:30 P.M. YOU WERE IN LAPEER; AND THAT FROM 3:30 P.M. TO 5:00 P.M. YOU WERE TRAVELING IN YOUR CAR IN THE VICINITY OF LAPEER.

I HAVE INFORMATION WHICH INDICATES THAT YOU WERE IN BAY CITY BETWEEN 1:00 P.M. AND 2:00 P.M. AND IN SAGINAW BETWEEN 2:00 P.M. AND 3:00 P.M. ON OCTOBER 6.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8, 1938

YOUR TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHER SHOWS THAT YOU BEGAN AND FINISHED WORK AT BAY CITY.

I HAVE INFORMATION THAT YOU WERE IN ANN ARBOR, OVER 100 MILES FROM BAY CITY, SHORTLY AFTER NOON ON OCTOBER 8.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 1938

YOUR TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHER SHOWS THAT BETWEEN 9:30 A.M. AND 5:00 P.M. YOU TRAVELED IN YOUR CAR FROM BAY CITY TO SAGINAW AND VICINITY TO STANDISH AND VICINITY AND RETURNED TO BAY CITY, CLAIMING $6.60 FOR 132 MILES TRAVELED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS.

I HAVE INFORMATION WHICH INDICATES THAT YOU WERE IN BAY CITY BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 9:30 A.M. AND 5:00 P.M.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11, 1938

YOUR TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHER SHOWS THAT YOU FINISHED WORK AT BAD AXE AT 6:00 P.M. AND CLAIMED $3.00 PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ON THE BASIS THAT YOU REMAINED AWAY FROM YOUR OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS OVER NIGHT.

I HAVE INFORMATION WHICH INDICATES THAT YOU WERE IN BAY CITY ON THE NIGHT OF OCTOBER 11.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12, 1938

YOUR TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHER SHOWS THAT YOU BEGAN WORK AT BAD AXE AT 8:00 A.M.; THAT BETWEEN :30 A.M. AND 11:30 A.M. YOU TRAVELED IN YOUR CAR FROM BAD AXE AND VICINITY TO BAY CITY. YOU CLAIMED $2.00 PER DIEM FOR SUBSISTENCE AND $4.75 MILEAGE FOR 95 MILES TRAVELED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS.

I HAVE INFORMATION WHICH INDICATES THAT YOU WERE IN BAY CITY BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 8:00 A.M. AND 11:30 A.M. ON OCTOBER 12.

IT IS VERY UNFORTUNATE THAT IT IS NECESSARY TO PLACE YOU ON FURLOUGH PENDING THIS INVESTIGATION BUT WITH THE INFORMATION WHICH I HAVE, IT WAS IMPERATIVE THAT THIS ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION BE TAKEN. I AM GIVING YOU EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO EXPLAIN THESE DISCREPANCIES AND UPON RECEIPT OF FULL EXPLANATION IN WRITING, I WILL GIVE DUE CONSIDERATION TO THE INFORMATION WHICH IS SUBMITTED.

I AM OBLIGED, HOWEVER, TO PLACE A STOPPAGE AGAINST THE RELEASE TO YOU OF ANY FUNDS PENDING THE COMPLETION OF THIS INVESTIGATION.

IN COMMUNICATIONS OF NOVEMBER 8 AND 14, 1938, MR. MORROW ACKNOWLEDGED THAT HIS PER DIEM ITEMS ARE NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FACTS BUT ATTEMPTS TO EXCUSE THE TRAVEL ACCOUNTS, AS HE STATED THEM, UPON THE GROUND THAT THEY WOULD NOT COVER ALL EXPENSES WHICH HE HAD INCURRED IN MOVING GOVERNMENT FILES, ETC. IT THUS APPEARS THAT THE MISREPRESENTATIONS WERE INTENTIONALLY MADE WHICH ACTION RENDERS THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACCOUNTS IN QUESTION, FALSE AND FRAUDULENT. WHILE MR. MORROW CONTENDS THAT THE MILEAGE CLAIMED IN SAID TRAVEL ACCOUNTS REPRESENTS ACTUAL DISTANCES TRAVELED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS, YET, SUCH MILEAGE IS SO INTERMINGLED WITH, AND DEPENDENT UPON, HIS STATEMENTS WITH RESPECT TO THE PER DIEMS CLAIMED THAT HIS FRAUDULENT MISREPRESENTATION MAKES IT IMPOSSIBLE TO DETERMINE WHICH, IF ANY, OF THE ITEMS ARE FREE FROM MISREPRESENTATION. ACCORDINGLY, NO PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON THE TWO VOUCHERS AND THEY WILL BE RETAINED IN THE FILES OF THIS OFFICE AS DISALLOWED CLAIMS. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 61; LONGWILL V. UNITED STATES, 17 CT.CLS. 288, 291; CHARLES V. UNITED STATES, 19 ID. 316, 319.

THE DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE HOLDING THAT THE SUBMISSION OF A FRAUDULENT EXPENSE ACCOUNT CONSTITUTES A BREACH OF THE OATH OF OFFICE AND WORKS A FORFEITURE OF ALL ACCRUED AND UNPAID COMPENSATION ARE NO LONGER APPLICABLE DUE TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 24, 1931, 46 STAT. 1415, WHICH READ---

THAT FROM AND AFTER THE PASSAGE OF THIS ACT THERE SHALL BE NO WITHHOLDING OR CONFISCATION OF THE EARNED PAY, SALARY, OR EMOLUMENT OF ANY CIVIL EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES REMOVED FOR CAUSE: PROVIDED, THAT IF AT THE TIME OF SUCH REMOVAL ANY SUCH EMPLOYEE IS INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES ANY SALARY, PAY, OR EMOLUMENT ACCRUING TO SUCH EMPLOYEE COMING WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT SHALL BE APPLIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART TO THE SATISFACTION OF ANY CLAIM OR INDEBTEDNESS DUE TO THE UNITED STATES.

THEREFORE, MR. MORROW'S SALARY CHECK IS RETURNED AND MAY BE DELIVERED TO HIM IN THE ABSENCE OF INFORMATION THAT HE IS INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES BY REASON OF IMPROPER PAYMENTS--- IT BEING ASSUMED THAT MR. MORROW'S TRAVEL EXPENSE ACCOUNTS WHICH HAVE ALREADY BEEN PAID ARE FREE FROM FRAUD AND MISREPRESENTATION.