B-129814, JAN. 7, 1957

B-129814: Jan 7, 1957

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O-CONNELL: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 20. YOU WERE DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM THAT STATION TO SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE. UPON COMPLETION OF WHICH YOU WERE TO RETURN TO YOUR PROPER STATION. YOU CERTIFIED THAT YOUR DEPENDENTS WERE LOCATED AT FINLAND. WHEN THE ORDERS WERE ISSUED. THAT THE TRAVEL "WAS ACTUALLY PERFORMED" BETWEEN THE DATES OF JULY 15 AND 17. YOU WERE PAID $123.15 BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER AT SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE ON JULY 23. THE AMOUNT PAID WAS BASED ON A DISTANCE OF 821 MILES. UPON AUDIT OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNTS WE QUESTIONED THE INCLUSION OF $73.89 IN THE PAYMENT (FOR TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS) FOR THE REASON THAT EVIDENCE AVAILABLE TO US INDICATED YOUR DEPENDENTS WERE LIVING IN YANKTON.

B-129814, JAN. 7, 1957

TO CAPTAIN GERALD A. O-CONNELL:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 20, 1956, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 10, 1956, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS FROM YANKTON, SOUTH DAKOTA, TO BELLEVILLE, ILLINOIS.

BY ORDERS DATED JULY 15, 1952, HEADQUARTERS 756TH AIRCRAFT CONTROL AND WARNING SQUADRON, FINLAND, MINNESOTA, YOU WERE DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM THAT STATION TO SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, ILLINOIS, FOR TEMPORARY DUTY, UPON COMPLETION OF WHICH YOU WERE TO RETURN TO YOUR PROPER STATION. BY ORDERS DATED AUGUST 20, 1952, SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE BECAME YOUR PERMANENT STATION. IN THE MEANTIME, ON JULY 23, 1952, YOU PRESENTED A CLAIM FOR MILEAGE FOR YOUR TRAVEL AND A MONETARY ALLOWANCE FOR TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS (WIFE, AND SON AGE 10) FROM FINLAND, MINNESOTA, TO SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, INCIDENT TO THE ORDERS OF JULY 15, 1952. YOU CERTIFIED THAT YOUR DEPENDENTS WERE LOCATED AT FINLAND, MINNESOTA, WHEN THE ORDERS WERE ISSUED, AND THAT THE TRAVEL "WAS ACTUALLY PERFORMED" BETWEEN THE DATES OF JULY 15 AND 17, 1952. ON THE BASIS OF YOUR CERTIFICATE ATTESTING TO THE CORRECTNESS OF THOSE FACTS, YOU WERE PAID $123.15 BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER AT SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE ON JULY 23, 1952. THE AMOUNT PAID WAS BASED ON A DISTANCE OF 821 MILES.

UPON AUDIT OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNTS WE QUESTIONED THE INCLUSION OF $73.89 IN THE PAYMENT (FOR TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS) FOR THE REASON THAT EVIDENCE AVAILABLE TO US INDICATED YOUR DEPENDENTS WERE LIVING IN YANKTON, SOUTH DAKOTA, WHEN THE ORDERS OF JULY 15TH WERE ISSUED AND, APPARENTLY, HAD NOT TRAVELED AS CLAIMED. IN A LETTER TO AIR FORCE FINANCE CENTER, DENVER, COLORADO, YOU ADMITTED THAT SUCH WAS THE CASE. AS A RESULT, THE SUM OF $73.89 WAS COLLECTED FROM YOU. YOU THEN FILED YOUR PRESENT CLAIM IN WHICH YOU ALLEGE YOUR DEPENDENTS WERE LOCATED IN YANKTON, SOUTH DAKOTA, WHEN THE ORDERS WERE ISSUED, AND THAT THEY TRAVELED FROM THAT CITY TO BELLEVILLE, ILLINOIS, DURING THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 3 TO 5, 1952. IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU STATE THAT THERE WAS NO REASON FOR YOU TO CLAIM REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS FROM FINLAND TO BELLEVILLE (WHICH YOU STATE IS 610 MILES) WHEN YOU HAD NOT BEEN PAID FOR THEIR TRAVEL FROM YANKTON TO FINLAND, AND THE DISTANCE TO BELLEVILLE IS GREATER FROM YANKTON THAN FROM FINLAND. YOU CONTEND THAT THE ENLISTED MAN WHO FILLED OUT YOUR CLAIM PAPERS MAY HAVE BEEN IN ERROR; THAT WE SHOULD CHECK YOUR MILEAGE PAYMENT, AND THAT THE PURPOSE OF YOUR PRESENT CLAIM IS TO CORRECT THE ERROR.

PARAGRAPH 7003, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO LAW, PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCES WHO TRANSPORTS HIS DEPENDENTS AT OWN EXPENSE IS ENTITLED TO A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED WITHIN THE UNITED STATES. IT FURTHER PROVIDES THAT SUCH ALLOWANCE IS NOT PAYABLE UNTIL AFTER THE TRAVEL IS COMPLETED. THE LAW IMPOSES A FURTHER OBLIGATION THAT CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES BE BASED ON TRUE FACTS. THE ACT OF JUNE 25, 1948, 28 U.S.C. 2514, PROVIDES THAT ANY 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, OR ALLOWANCE OF THE CLAIM. UNDER THAT PROVISION OF LAW IT CONSISTENTLY HAS BEEN THE VIEW OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT THAT THE PRESENTATION OF A CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES WITH THE KNOWLEDGE THAT THE FACTS STATED IN SUPPORT OF THAT CLAIM ARE FALSE, VITIATES AND DESTROYS THE CLAIMANT'S RIGHTS IN THE ENTIRE CLAIM. IN SUCH A SITUATION, NO AMOUNT MAY BE PAID AND THE PAYMENT ON THE FALSE VOUCHER MUST BE RECOVERED EVEN THOUGH THE CLAIMANT LATER ALTERS HIS STATEMENT TO REFLECT THE TRUE FACTS.

IN YOUR CASE, YOU CERTIFIED THAT YOUR DEPENDENTS TRAVELED FROM FINLAND TO SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE WHEN THE VOUCHER WAS SUBMITTED APPARENTLY WITH THE FULL KNOWLEDGE THAT THE TRAVEL WAS NOT PERFORMED. THAT CLAIM WAS FALSE AND IS FORFEITED. NOTWITHSTANDING YOUR CONTENTION THAT SOMEONE ELSE MAY HAVE MADE THE ERROR AND THAT THE TRUE FACTS ARE AS NOW CLAIMED, PAYMENT MAY NOT BE MADE ON YOUR CLAIM.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 10, 1956, WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.