B-129427, OCT. 24, 1956

B-129427: Oct 24, 1956

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YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM YOUR ASSIGNMENT AND DUTY ABOARD THE U.S.S. YOU CERTIFIED THAT YOUR DEPENDENT WAS AT QUONSET POINT WHEN YOUR ORDERS OF JULY 24. WERE RECEIVED AND THAT SHE DEPARTED THERE ON AUGUST 1. ON THE BASIS OF YOUR CERTIFICATIONS YOU WERE PAID $143.52 ON VOUCHER NO. 64509. UPON AUDIT OF THE VOUCHER AN EXCEPTION WAS TAKEN TO THE PAYMENT FOR THE REASON THAT YOUR CERTIFICATIONS WERE NOT FACTUALLY CORRECT. THE AMOUNT OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS WAS REDUCED FROM $143.52 TO $69.24 AFTER THE SET OFF OF THE SUM OF $74.28 WHICH YOU WERE ALLOWED FOR DEPENDENT TRAVEL FROM ALBUQUERQUE TO HATTIESBURG. THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 3. FROM THE FACTS NOW AVAILABLE IT IS CLEAR THAT YOUR WIFE DID NOT TRAVEL FROM QUONSET POINT.

B-129427, OCT. 24, 1956

TO MR. E. H. ROSS, JR.:

YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 15, 1956, REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED AUGUST 3, 1956, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL FROM HATTIESBURG, MISSISSIPPI, TO ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, DURING AUGUST 1952, INCIDENT TO YOUR CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS DATED JULY 24, 1952. ALSO, THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 6, 1956, TRANSMITTING YOUR CHECK IN THE AMOUNT OF $69.24.

BY ORDERS DATED JULY 24, 1952, YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM YOUR ASSIGNMENT AND DUTY ABOARD THE U.S.S. TARAWA (CV-40) (HOME PORT AT QUONSET POINT, RHODE ISLAND) AND DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO. INCIDENT TO SUCH CHANGE OF STATION YOU EXECUTED A VOUCHER ON WHICH YOU CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL OF YOUR WIFE FROM QUONSET POINT, RHODE ISLAND, TO ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, DURING THE PERIOD AUGUST 1 TO 24, 1952. YOU CERTIFIED THAT YOUR DEPENDENT WAS AT QUONSET POINT WHEN YOUR ORDERS OF JULY 24, 1952, WERE RECEIVED AND THAT SHE DEPARTED THERE ON AUGUST 1, 1952, FOR ALBUQUERQUE. ON THE BASIS OF YOUR CERTIFICATIONS YOU WERE PAID $143.52 ON VOUCHER NO. 64509, SEPTEMBER 1952 ACCOUNTS OF H. W. STEVENS, SYMBOL 540-292. UPON AUDIT OF THE VOUCHER AN EXCEPTION WAS TAKEN TO THE PAYMENT FOR THE REASON THAT YOUR CERTIFICATIONS WERE NOT FACTUALLY CORRECT. THE AMOUNT OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS WAS REDUCED FROM $143.52 TO $69.24 AFTER THE SET OFF OF THE SUM OF $74.28 WHICH YOU WERE ALLOWED FOR DEPENDENT TRAVEL FROM ALBUQUERQUE TO HATTIESBURG, MISSISSIPPI, IN OCTOBER 1953, INCIDENT TO ORDERS DATED SEPTEMBER 29, 1953.

ON MARCH 30, 1956, YOU SUBMITTED A CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL FROM HATTIESBURG, MISSISSIPPI, TO ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, DURING THE PERIOD AUGUST 22 TO 24, 1952, INCIDENT TO YOUR CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS OF JULY 24, 1952. THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 3, 1956.

FROM THE FACTS NOW AVAILABLE IT IS CLEAR THAT YOUR WIFE DID NOT TRAVEL FROM QUONSET POINT, RHODE ISLAND, TO ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, DURING THE PERIOD AUGUST 1 TO 24, 1952, INCIDENT TO YOUR ORDERS OF JULY 24, 1952, AS YOU PREVIOUSLY CERTIFIED AND THAT YOU KNEW THE INFORMATION SHOWN ON THE VOUCHER WAS FALSE. YOU HAVE ADMITTED THAT SOMETIME PRIOR TO THE BIRTH OF YOUR SECOND CHILD (SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN BORN JUNE 24, 1952) YOUR WIFE GAVE UP YOUR APARTMENT AT QUONSET POINT, RETURNED TO YOUR PERMANENT ADDRESS AT HATTIESBURG, AND REMAINED THERE UNTIL AFTER RECEIPT BY YOU OF THE ORDERS OF JULY 24, 1952.

IT SEEMS TO BE YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAD AN OBLIGATION TO PAY YOU FOR THE TRAVEL OF YOUR WIFE FROM QUONSET POINT TO ALBUQUERQUE IRRESPECTIVE OF THE FACT THAT SHE TRAVELED TO HATTIESBURG BEFORE YOUR ORDERS WERE RECEIVED. HOWEVER, WE KNOW OF NO SUCH OBLIGATION UNDER THE LAW OR REGULATIONS. WHERE TRAVEL TO THE NEW STATION IS PERFORMED FROM A PLACE OTHER THAN OLD STATION, TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FOR TRAVEL ACTUALLY PERFORMED IS AUTHORIZED NOT TO EXCEED THE ENTITLEMENT FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW STATION. SEE PARAGRAPH 7058 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. ALSO, SEE PARAGRAPH 7000-11 OF THOSE REGULATIONS TO THE EFFECT THAT TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS NOT AUTHORIZED FOR TRAVEL PRIOR TO ORDERS UNLESS THE VOUCHER IS SUPPORTED BY A CERTIFICATE AS DESCRIBED IN THAT PARAGRAPH THAT THE MEMBER WAS ADVISED PRIOR TO ISSUANCE OF CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS THAT SUCH ORDERS WOULD BE ISSUED. THUS, IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT AS A RESULT OF YOUR FALSE STATEMENTS YOU RECEIVED 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.

ACCORDINGLY, ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD, THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 3, 1956, WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED AND YOU ARE ADVISED THAT YOUR REFUND OF THE BALANCE OF YOUR DEBT ($69.24) WAS PROPER.