B-126646, MAR. 22, 1956

B-126646: Mar 22, 1956

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USAF: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 10. YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM CAMP STONEMAN. ON THE BASIS OF YOUR CERTIFICATE THAT THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED. YOU WERE PAID $297.84 AS A REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN THE POINTS CLAIMED. WHEN IT SUBSEQUENTLY WAS LEARNED THAT YOUR DEPENDENTS HAD NOT COMPLETED THE TRAVEL WHEN CLAIMED. YOU WERE REQUIRED TO REMIT THE ENTIRE PAYMENT. THAT IS. THAT CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY THE SETTLEMENT MENTIONED ABOVE. YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU STATE THAT AT THE TIME YOUR VOUCHER COVERING TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS WAS SUBMITTED THEY HAD ARRIVED AT LA GRANGE. YOU STATE THAT YOU BELIEVE THAT NO FRAUD WAS INVOLVED FOR THE REASONS THAT YOU REMITTED THE PAYMENT AS SOON AS IT WAS BROUGHT TO YOUR ATTENTION.

B-126646, MAR. 22, 1956

TO CAPTAIN JAMES E. BUNT, USAF:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 10, 1956, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT OF DECEMBER 20, 1954, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS FROM FAIRFIELD, CALIFORNIA, TO LA GRANGE, ILLINOIS.

BY PARAGRAPH 6 SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 62, DATED APRIL 2, 1953, HEADQUARTERS, 4400TH COMBAT CREW TRAINING GROUP, LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, VIRGINIA, YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM CAMP STONEMAN, CALIFORNIA, TO SEWART AIR FORCE BASE, TENNESSEE, FOR DUTY. SHORTLY THEREAFTER YOU SUBMITTED A VOUCHER FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS IN WHICH YOU CERTIFIED THAT THEY TRAVELED FROM FAIRFIELD, CALIFORNIA, TO NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, DURING THE PERIOD JUNE 14 TO 20, 1953. ON THE BASIS OF YOUR CERTIFICATE THAT THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED, YOU WERE PAID $297.84 AS A REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN THE POINTS CLAIMED. WHEN IT SUBSEQUENTLY WAS LEARNED THAT YOUR DEPENDENTS HAD NOT COMPLETED THE TRAVEL WHEN CLAIMED, YOU WERE REQUIRED TO REMIT THE ENTIRE PAYMENT. YOU THEN SUBMITTED A CLAIM CERTIFYING THAT YOUR DEPENDENTS ACTUALLY TRAVELED A LESSER DISTANCE, THAT IS, FROM FAIRFIELD, CALIFORNIA, TO LA GRANGE, ILLINOIS, DURING THE PERIOD JUNE 14 TO 20, 1953. THAT CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY THE SETTLEMENT MENTIONED ABOVE. YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU STATE THAT AT THE TIME YOUR VOUCHER COVERING TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS WAS SUBMITTED THEY HAD ARRIVED AT LA GRANGE, ILLINOIS, WITH FULL INTENTIONS OF ESTABLISHING A RESIDENCE AT SEWART AIR FORCE BASE. ALSO, YOU STATE THAT YOU BELIEVE THAT NO FRAUD WAS INVOLVED FOR THE REASONS THAT YOU REMITTED THE PAYMENT AS SOON AS IT WAS BROUGHT TO YOUR ATTENTION.

THE RECORD CLEARLY ESTABLISHES THAT WHEN YOU PRESENTED A CLAIM FOR TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS FROM FAIRFIELD, CALIFORNIA, TO NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, THEY HAD NOT IN FACT TRAVELED TO THE LATTER CITY BUT HAD COMPLETED TRAVEL FOR A LESSER DISTANCE, THAT IS, FROM FAIRFIELD, CALIFORNIA, TO LA GRANGE, ILLINOIS. IT IS ALSO APPARENT THAT THE LOCATION OF YOUR DEPENDENTS WAS KNOWN TO YOU WHEN YOU EXECUTED THE CERTIFICATE THAT THEY HAD PERFORMED TRAVEL NOT ACTUALLY PERFORMED. ON SUCH A RECORD, THE CONCLUSION IS INESCAPABLE THAT YOU PRESENTED A FALSE CLAIM INVOLVING THE TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS.

AS A MATTER OF LAW, THE FRAUDULENT PRESENTATION OF A CLAIM AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT FOR A GREATER AMOUNT THAN IS DUE VITIATES AND DESTROYS THE CLAIMANT'S RIGHT IN THE ENTIRE CLAIM. 28 U.S.C. 2514. IN SUCH A SITUATION, NO AMOUNT MAY BE PAID ON THE ACCOUNT EVEN THOUGH THE CLAIMANT LATER ALTERS HIS STATEMENT TO REFLECT THE TRUE FACTS, AND THE ENTIRE PAYMENT ON THE FALSE VOUCHER MUST BE RECOVERED. IN YOUR CASE, SINCE YOUR DEPENDENTS TRAVELED A LESSER DISTANCE THAN CERTIFIED BY YOU WHEN YOUR VOUCHER WAS SUBMITTED, YOU WERE REQUIRED TO REMIT THE ENTIRE AMOUNT PAID, AND NO AMOUNT MAY BE PAID YOU NOW ON THE BASIS OF YOUR AMENDED CLAIM. THEREFORE, THE SETTLEMENT OF DECEMBER 20, 1954, WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.