B-129062, OCT. 5, 1956

B-129062: Oct 5, 1956

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DEPARTMENT OF STATE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS DATED AUGUST 23 AND SEPTEMBER 13. WAS EMPLOYED AS A SPECIAL AGENT IN THE OFFICE OF SECURITY. THERE ARE FOUR VOUCHERS WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN PAID TO MR. THE VOUCHERS ARE AS FOLLOWS: CHART PERIOD OF TRAVEL AMOUNT MARCH 1-31. IS A RECLAIM OF AN AMOUNT PREVIOUSLY INCLUDED IN THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED IN THE CLAIMED AMOUNT OF $320.92 PAID IN THE AMOUNT OF $301.72 AND WHICH CONTAINED A FALSE CLAIM. IS A REVISION OF ONE ORIGINALLY SUBMITTED WHICH WAS DETERMINED ADMINISTRATIVELY TO CONTAIN FALSE STATEMENTS. IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT MONEY WHICH HAS BEEN PAID OUT IRREGULARLY AND WHICH IS NOT DUE MAY BE RECOVERED BACK. WAS LEGAL AND PROPER. THE GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTING AND ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS ARE REQUIRED TO REJECT OR DISALLOW ALL CLAIMS WHICH THEY HAVE REASONABLE CAUSE TO SUSPECT TO BE TAINTED WITH FRAUD OR AS TO WHICH THEY BELIEVE THERE MAY BE A SUBSTANTIAL DEFENSE IN LAW.

B-129062, OCT. 5, 1956

TO MR. J. F. DONELAN, JR., AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, DEPARTMENT OF STATE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS DATED AUGUST 23 AND SEPTEMBER 13, 1956, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER, BECAUSE OF CERTAIN FALSE CLAIMS MADE BY HIM IN HIS TRAVEL VOUCHERS COVERING THE PERIOD OF DECEMBER 1, 1954, TO APRIL 30, 1956, FOUR UNPAID TRAVEL VOUCHERS SUBMITTED BY JOHN B. MACKEY, JR. MAY PROPERLY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. ALSO, YOU REQUEST ADVICE AS TO THE DISPOSITION TO BE MADE OF HIS UNDELIVERED FINAL SALARY CHECK, LUMP-SUM LEAVE PAYMENT AND CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT CREDIT.

UNTIL HIS RESIGNATION ON JUNE 30, 1956, MR. MACKEY, WAS EMPLOYED AS A SPECIAL AGENT IN THE OFFICE OF SECURITY. WHILE EMPLOYED, HE ADMITTEDLY SUBMITTED VOUCHERS CONTAINING FALSE CLAIMS FOR PER DIEM AND ACCEPTED PAYMENT THEREFOR AS FOLLOWS:

CHART PERIOD OF TRAVEL VOUCHER AMOUNT AMOUNT OF FALSE CLAIM

DEC. 1 - 31, 1954 $296.20 $4.50

JAN. 31 - FEB. 28, 1955 293.80 4.50

MAR. 1 - 31, 1955 267.50 6.75

MAY 1 - 31, 1955 258.16 2.25

AUG. 1 - 31, 1955 189.78 4.50

OCT. 1 - 31, 1955 251.24 4.50

NOV. 1 - 30, 1955 255.72 6.75

DEC. 1 - 31, 1955 258.69 9.00

MAR. 1 - 31, 1956 301.72 6.00

$48.75 TOTAL

PRIOR TO HIS RESIGNATION, MR. MACKEY REFUNDED THE $48.75 HE CLAIMED FALSELY. THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE HAS ADVISED US THAT IT DOES NOT INTEND TO PROSECUTE MR. MACKEY CRIMINALLY OR BRING ANY CIVIL SUIT ON ACCOUNT OF THE FRAUDULENT CLAIMS.

AT PRESENT, THERE ARE FOUR VOUCHERS WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN PAID TO MR. MACKEY. THE VOUCHERS ARE AS FOLLOWS:

CHART

PERIOD OF TRAVEL AMOUNT

MARCH 1-31, 1956 $ 19.20

APRIL 1-30, 1956 301.56

MAY 1-31, 1956 267.56

JUNE 1-30, 1956 313.90

THE VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $19.20 FOR THE PERIOD MARCH 1-31, 1956, IS A RECLAIM OF AN AMOUNT PREVIOUSLY INCLUDED IN THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED IN THE CLAIMED AMOUNT OF $320.92 PAID IN THE AMOUNT OF $301.72 AND WHICH CONTAINED A FALSE CLAIM. THE VOUCHER FOR THE PERIOD APRIL 1-30, 1956, IS A REVISION OF ONE ORIGINALLY SUBMITTED WHICH WAS DETERMINED ADMINISTRATIVELY TO CONTAIN FALSE STATEMENTS. 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.'

THE PRESENTATION OF A CLAIM CONTAINING FRAUDULENT ITEMS VITIATES AND DESTROYS THE CLAIMANT'S RIGHT IN THE ENTIRE CLAIM. IN SUCH A SITUATION, NO AMOUNT NOT ALREADY RECEIVED BY THE CLAIMANT PROPERLY MAY BE PAID HIM EVEN THOUGH THE CLAIMANT LATER RESTATES OR ALTERS HIS CLAIM TO REFLECT THE TRUE FACTS. ALSO, IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT MONEY WHICH HAS BEEN PAID OUT IRREGULARLY AND WHICH IS NOT DUE MAY BE RECOVERED BACK, AND RECOVERY OF THE SUM ADMITTEDLY PAID OUT IN ERROR, $48.75, WAS LEGAL AND PROPER. THUS, THE RECLAIM VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $19.20 FOR THE PERIOD MARCH 1- 31, 1956, AND THE VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $301.56 FOR THE PERIOD APRIL 1- 30, 1956, MAY NOT PROPERLY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. THE GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTING AND ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS ARE REQUIRED TO REJECT OR DISALLOW ALL CLAIMS WHICH THEY HAVE REASONABLE CAUSE TO SUSPECT TO BE TAINTED WITH FRAUD OR AS TO WHICH THEY BELIEVE THERE MAY BE A SUBSTANTIAL DEFENSE IN LAW, OR AS TO THE VALIDITY OF WHICH THEY ARE IN DOUBT. LONGWILL V. UNITED STATES, 17 C.CLS. 288, 291; CHARLES V. UNITED STATES, 19 C.CLS. 316, 319; 15 COMP. GEN. 466,470; 18 ID. 603, 606. NO QUESTION OF FRAUD APPEARS TO BE INVOLVED IN THE TRAVEL VOUCHERS FOR THE PERIODS MAY 1-31 AND JUNE 1 30, 1956, AND THEY MAY PROPERLY BE CERTIFIED IF OTHERWISE CORRECT AND PROPER UNDER THE APPLICABLE TRAVEL ORDERS, COPIES OF WHICH WERE NOT FORWARDED WITH YOUR LETTERS.

TITLE 5, U.S.C. SECTION 46A, PROVIDES:

"* * * 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 SECTION SHALL BE APPLIED IN WHOLE OR IN PART TO THE SATISFACTION OF ANY CLAIM OR INDEBTEDNESS DUE TO THE UNITED STATES.'

SINCE THE OVERPAYMENTS ON THE TRAVEL VOUCHERS HAVE BEEN COLLECTED BACK AND THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE DOES NOT CONTEMPLATE TAKING ANY CIVIL ACTION ON THE FALSE CLAIMS, THERE IS NOT PRESENT OR POTENTIAL INDEBTEDNESS ON MR. MACKEY'S PART TO THE UNITED STATES. ACCORDINGLY, IN CONSONANCE WITH THE CITED STATUTE, HE MAY BE PAID HIS SALARY, LUMP SUM PAYMENT LESS DEDUCTIONS FOR FEDERAL INCOME TAX AND OUTSTANDING TRAVEL ADVANCES, AND CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT CREDIT.