B-128342, JUL. 12, 1956

B-128342: Jul 12, 1956

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YOU WERE DIRECTED TO REPORT NOT LATER THAN MAY 5. YOU WERE PAID $291.72 FOR THEIR TRAVEL ON VOUCHER NO. 1542 IN THE MAY 1952 ACCOUNTS OF CAPTAIN C. UPON AUDIT OF THE VOUCHER EXCEPTION WAS TAKEN TO THE PAYMENT BECAUSE PLACES AND DATES OF NEGOTIATION OF CLASS Q ALLOTMENT CHECKS BY YOUR DEPENDENT INDICATED THAT THE TRAVEL AS CLAIMED WAS NOT PERFORMED. THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 28. - WHICH WAS YOUR DEPENDENTS' RESIDENCE AT THAT TIME. - BUT THAT FINANCE OFFICE PERSONNEL ADVISED YOU THAT YOU WOULD HAVE TO SUBMIT YOUR CLAIM FOR TRAVEL FROM COLFAX. WHICH WAS THE LAST PLACE TO WHICH YOU WERE PAID A MONETARY ALLOWANCE FOR YOUR DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL. YOU ALSO INDICATE THAT YOU WERE ADVISED THAT UNDER THE REGULATIONS IN EFFECT YOU WOULD RECEIVE TRAVEL PAY FOR YOUR DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL FOR A DISTANCE GREATER THAN THE DISTANCE ACTUALLY TRAVELED BY THEM ON YOUR RETURN FROM OVERSEAS.

B-128342, JUL. 12, 1956

TO MASTER SERGEANT RAYMOND J. URBANEK:

YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 4, 1955, REQUESTS REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED FEBRUARY 28, 1956, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF YOUR DEPENDENTS' (WIFE AND TWO CHILDREN) TRAVEL FROM ROWENA, TEXAS, TO LOCKBOURNE AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO, DURING THE PERIOD MAY 11 TO 15, 1952, INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS DATED APRIL 1, 1952.

THE ORDERS OF APRIL 1, 1952, RELIEVED YOU FROM ASSIGNMENT AT YERBA BUENA ISLAND, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, AND ASSIGNED YOU TO LOCKBOURNE AIR FORCE BASE, COLUMBUS, OHIO. YOU WERE DIRECTED TO REPORT NOT LATER THAN MAY 5, 1952. ON MAY 19, 1952, YOU SIGNED A VOUCHER ON WHICH YOU CLAIMED SIX CENTS PER MILE FOR YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL AND THREE CENTS PER MILE FOR THE TRAVEL OF EACH OF YOUR DAUGHTERS DURING THE PERIOD APRIL 4 TO MAY 16, 1952, FROM COLFAX, CALIFORNIA, TO LOCKBOURNE AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO. YOU WERE PAID $291.72 FOR THEIR TRAVEL ON VOUCHER NO. 1542 IN THE MAY 1952 ACCOUNTS OF CAPTAIN C. K. HAYS, USAF, SYMBOL NO. 225-462. UPON AUDIT OF THE VOUCHER EXCEPTION WAS TAKEN TO THE PAYMENT BECAUSE PLACES AND DATES OF NEGOTIATION OF CLASS Q ALLOTMENT CHECKS BY YOUR DEPENDENT INDICATED THAT THE TRAVEL AS CLAIMED WAS NOT PERFORMED. YOU REPAID THE $291.72 TO THE GOVERNMENT.

ON NOVEMBER 8, 1955, YOU SUBMITTED A CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS FROM ROWENA, TEXAS, TO LOCKBOURNE AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO, DURING THE PERIOD MAY 11 TO 15, 1952, INCIDENT TO YOUR CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS DATED APRIL 1, 1952. THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1956.

IN YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 4, 1956, YOU INDICATE THAT YOU ORIGINALLY SUBMITTED A CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF YOUR DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL FROM ROWENA, TEXAS--- WHICH WAS YOUR DEPENDENTS' RESIDENCE AT THAT TIME--- BUT THAT FINANCE OFFICE PERSONNEL ADVISED YOU THAT YOU WOULD HAVE TO SUBMIT YOUR CLAIM FOR TRAVEL FROM COLFAX, CALIFORNIA, WHICH WAS THE LAST PLACE TO WHICH YOU WERE PAID A MONETARY ALLOWANCE FOR YOUR DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL. YOU ALSO INDICATE THAT YOU WERE ADVISED THAT UNDER THE REGULATIONS IN EFFECT YOU WOULD RECEIVE TRAVEL PAY FOR YOUR DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL FOR A DISTANCE GREATER THAN THE DISTANCE ACTUALLY TRAVELED BY THEM ON YOUR RETURN FROM OVERSEAS.

FROM THE FACTS NOW AVAILABLE IT IS CLEAR THAT YOUR DEPENDENTS DID NOT TRAVEL FROM COLFAX TO LOCKBOURNE AIR FORCE BASE DURING THE PERIOD APRIL 4 TO MAY 16, 1952, INCIDENT TO YOUR ORDERS OF APRIL 1, 1952, AS YOU CERTIFIED ON VOUCHER NO. 1542, AND THAT YOU KNEW THE INFORMATION SHOWN ON THE VOUCHER WAS FALSE. WE CANNOT CONCLUDE THAT SUCH FALSE STATEMENTS DID NOT RESULT IN YOUR RECEIVING AN AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF THAT DUE INCIDENT TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR DEPENDENTS.

SECTION 2514, TITLE 28 OF THE U.S.C. PROVIDES:

"A CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES SHALL BE FORFEITED TO THE UNITED STATES BY ANY PERSON WHO CORRUPTLY PRACTICES OR ATTEMPTS TO PRACTICE ANY FRAUD AGAINST THE UNITED STATES IN THE PROOF, STATEMENT, ESTABLISHMENT, OR ALLOWANCE THEREOF.

"IN SUCH CASES THE COURT OF CLAIMS SHALL SPECIFICALLY FIND SUCH FRAUD OR ATTEMPT AND RENDER JUDGMENT OF FORFEITURE.'

THE FRAUDULENT PRESENTATION OF A CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES FOR A GREATER AMOUNT THAN IS DUE, OR FOR AN AMOUNT THAT IS NOT DUE, VITIATES AND DESTROYS THE CLAIMANT'S RIGHTS IN THE ENTIRE CLAIM. 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, YOU WERE NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR YOUR DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL FROM COLFAX TO LOCKBOURNE AIR FORCE BASE SINCE THEY DID NOT TRAVEL FROM COLFAX AS ALLEGED. PAYMENT MAY NOT NOW BE MADE ON THE BASIS THAT THEY ACTUALLY TRAVELED FROM ROWENA TO LOCKBOURNE AIR FORCE BASE, INCIDENT TO YOUR CHANGE OF STATION.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1956, WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.