B-121119 October 27, 1954
B-121119: Oct 27, 1954
Parsons: Reference is made to your letter of August 16. Which was erroneously drawn on February 9. There was transmitted with your letter a report dated April 20. When as a matter of fact the refund was due Toad Wilson. The check was received by Toad Wilson. Was endorsed. It is evident that. The said check was received and negotiated by the person not intended. Further it is disclosed by the record that upon the Internal Revenue Agent attempting to recover the amount of the check from Toad Wilson. It was determined that he was killed in a truck accident on August 23. Was at first required to refund the amount of the check to the Treasury Department but that after investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation his money was refunded.
B-121119 October 27, 1954
Mr. William W. Parsons Administrative Assistant Secretary Treasury Department
Dear Mr. Parsons:
Reference is made to your letter of August 16, 1954, in regard to the claim of Toad Wilson, Kennedy, Alabama, for the proceeds of 1952 income tax refund check No. 15,578,588, for $73.40, which was erroneously drawn on February 9, 1953, to the order of Toad Wilson, Kennedy, Alabama, by B.A. Hudson, symbol 449. There was transmitted with your letter a report dated April 20, 1954, of a special investigation conducted by Internal Revenue Agent Glen D. McMillan in the case, and a copy of a letter dated April 30, 1954 (C.A. Wanipeg), addressed by the District Director of Internal Revenue, Birmingham, Alabama, to the Assistant Commissioner (Operations), Internal Revenue Service, enclosing his complete file in the case.
Your letter and the record submitted disclose that the voucher (L.O voucher No. 29728 in the February 1953 accounts of B.A. Hudson, mentioned refund check as Toad Wilson, Kennedy, Alabama, who did not submit a 1952 tax return, when as a matter of fact the refund was due Toad Wilson, Kennedy, Alabama. The check was received by Toad Wilson, the payee named thereon, and was endorsed, negotiated by him, and paid by the Treasurer of the United States through regular banking channels. Hence, it is evident that, through error, the said check was received and negotiated by the person not intended. Further it is disclosed by the record that upon the Internal Revenue Agent attempting to recover the amount of the check from Toad Wilson, it was determined that he was killed in a truck accident on August 23, 1953, and that he left no estate from which the erroneous payment could be recovered. Also, it appears that Felton Jones the postmaster at Kennedy, Alabama, who cashed the check for Toad Wilson, was at first required to refund the amount of the check to the Treasury Department but that after investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation his money was refunded, since he apparently acted in good faith in cashing the check for the person named thereon as payee.
Since it appears that the erroneous issuance and negotiation of the check resulted from no fault or negligence on the part of the rightful payee, Toad Wilson, you are advised that, as requested, another check may be issued to him if it be adminstratively determined that he is entitled to the amount involved at this time.
As to your request that no exception be taken to the erroneous action in certifying the voucher for payment to Toad Wilson in this case, it is noted that the voucher involved covers refund payments to 1,000 individuals, and that there is nothing thereon to indicate that the individuals named are not the rightful payees. Therefore, it is concluded that the certification of the voucher was based on official records and that the certifying officer did not know and by reasonable diligence and inquiry could not have ascertained the actual facts. In such circumstances, it appears the certifying officer would be entitled, pursuant to section 2 of the act of December 29, 1941 (55 Stat. 875), to relief from liability for the payment and no exception will be taken in his accounts for the amount.
Since it does not appear that any liability attaches to Mrs. Toad Wilson, to refund the amount wrongfully obtained by her husband, no further action against her would appear to be proper or necessary.
The enclosure to your letter are returned herewith as requested.
FRANK H. WEITZER Acting Comptroller General of the United States
Director of Audits
Reference is made to report dated October 6, 1954, CAB-RPM-A, from the Associate Director of Audits, relative to check No. 15,578,588 drawn to the order of Toad Wilson.
The audit action proposed is approved and there is attached for your information a copy of Office letter of today to the Administrative Assistant Secretary, Treasury Department, relative to the matter, together with the voucher involved.
FRANK H. WEITZEL Acting Comptroller General of the United States