B-127815, JUL. 9, 1956

B-127815: Jul 9, 1956

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CLEMENTE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER OF FEBRUARY 6. WHEREIN THE COOPERATION OF THE SECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES WAS REQUESTED TO EFFECT COLLECTION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR 29. A COPY OF YOUR ATTORNEY'S LETTER WAS TRANSMITTED TO US FOR APPROPRIATE ACTION BY THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE. WILL BE TREATED AS A REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF THE ACTION TAKEN IN OUR SETTLEMENT DATED AUGUST 9. IN THE REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION MUCH EMPHASIS IS PLACED UPON THE FACT THAT YOU WERE ACQUITTED OF THE CHARGES OF FILING FALSE CLAIMS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT AND IT IS CONTENDED THAT SUCH VERDICT OF THE COURT IS TANTAMOUNT TO A JUDICIAL DECISION THAT ALL THE PAID AND UNPAID VOUCHERS SUBMITTED IN THE NAME OF YOUR FORMER INSTITUTE WERE PROPER AND FREE FROM ANY OVERCHARGES.

B-127815, JUL. 9, 1956

TO MR. LUIS D. CLEMENTE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER OF FEBRUARY 6, 1956, WRITTEN ON YOUR BEHALF BY MARIANO DE JOYA, JR., ATTORNEY, WHEREIN THE COOPERATION OF THE SECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES WAS REQUESTED TO EFFECT COLLECTION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR 29,759.80 PESOS, ALLEGED TO BE DUE FOR TUITION, BOOKS, TOOLS, AND SUPPLIES FURNISHED VETERANS TRAINEES PURSUANT TO PUBLIC LAW 346, 78TH CONGRESS, 58 STAT. 284. A COPY OF YOUR ATTORNEY'S LETTER WAS TRANSMITTED TO US FOR APPROPRIATE ACTION BY THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE, AND WILL BE TREATED AS A REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF THE ACTION TAKEN IN OUR SETTLEMENT DATED AUGUST 9, 1955, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM IN ITS ENTIRETY, AND MADE DEMAND UPON YOU FOR 68,241.30 PESOS, REPRESENTING THE UNCOLLECTED BALANCE OF REPAYMENTS REQUESTED FROM YOU AS OWNER AND DIRECTOR OF THE REPUBLIC RADIO ELECTRONICS INSTITUTE.

IN THE REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION MUCH EMPHASIS IS PLACED UPON THE FACT THAT YOU WERE ACQUITTED OF THE CHARGES OF FILING FALSE CLAIMS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT AND IT IS CONTENDED THAT SUCH VERDICT OF THE COURT IS TANTAMOUNT TO A JUDICIAL DECISION THAT ALL THE PAID AND UNPAID VOUCHERS SUBMITTED IN THE NAME OF YOUR FORMER INSTITUTE WERE PROPER AND FREE FROM ANY OVERCHARGES.

PRIMARILY, IT IS CLEAR THAT THE DISPOSITION OF A CRIMINAL CHARGE IN THIS TYPE OF CASE IN NO WAY AFFECTS THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF THE PARTIES INVOLVED WHICH ARE FOR DETERMINATION UNDER DIFFERENT RULES OF EVIDENCE AND PROCEDURES, AND THE DETERMINATION OF ONE MUST BE, AND IS, INDEPENDENT OF THE OTHER. MOREOVER, THE FACT THAT THE COURT FOUND THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED IN THE TRIAL TO BE INSUFFICIENT TO SUPPORT A CONVICTION IS NOT MATERIAL TO YOUR CLAIMS, OR TO THOSE OF THE GOVERNMENT, BECAUSE THE CHARGES RAISED BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION WERE BASED PRIMARILY ON THE AUDIT OF YOUR ACCOUNTS AND RECORDS, AND NOT CONFINED TO THE TESTIMONY AND EVIDENCE SUBMITTED TO THE COURT IN THE COURSE OF THE TRIAL. THE SUBJECT AUDIT DISCLOSED THAT THE OVERCHARGES ON PAID VOUCHERS TOTALED 69,294.44 PESOS, AND ON THE UNPAID CLAIM VOUCHERS, TOTALS 19,826.34 PESOS. AS TO THE LATTER VOUCHERS IT WAS HELD THAT THE PRESENTATION OF FRAUDULENT CLAIMS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT VITIATES AND DESTROYS THE CLAIMANT'S RIGHT IN THE ENTIRE CLAIM, AND BY LAW SUCH CLAIM IS FORFEITED. SEE 28 U.S.C. 2515. FURTHERMORE, SOME OVERCHARGES APPEAR TO BE BASED ON MATTERS OTHER THAN CONSIDERED IN THE REFERRED-TO TRIAL, SUCH AS CHARGES IN EXCESS OF PRICES CONSIDERED REASONABLE.

WITH RESPECT TO THE OVERCHARGES CONTAINED ON THE PAID VOUCHERS, NO ATTEMPT HAS BEEN MADE TO EFFECT RECOUPMENT OF SUCH OVERCHARGES IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT IT IS INDICATED THAT THE INSTITUTION HAS BEEN DISSOLVED WITHOUT ANY DISTRAINABLE ASSETS, AND, THEREFORE, TO REDUCE THE DEBT TO A JUDGMENT AGAINST YOU AND/OR THE SCHOOL WOULD SERVE NO USEFUL PURPOSE.

ASIDE FROM THE FORFEITURE ASPECTS OF THE CASE, SINCE THE OVERPAYMENTS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED GREATLY EXCEED THE PROVABLE ITEMS OTHERWISE PAYABLE ON THE SUSPENDED VOUCHERS, AN ADJUSTMENT OF THE ACCOUNTS WOULD RESULT IN A BALANCE DUE THE UNITED STATES.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING THE ACTION TAKEN IN THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 2, 1955, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM, IS SUSTAINED.