B-129935, JAN. 31, 1957

B-129935: Jan 31, 1957

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RHODES: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 13. YOU WERE RELEASED FROM ACTIVE DUTY. THAT YOUR HOME OF RECORD UPON ENTRY ON ACTIVE DUTY WAS NORMAN. YOU WERE PAID $86.10 BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER AT BOLLING AIR FORCE BASE. THE SUM OF $86.10 WAS COLLECTED FROM YOU. THAT IS. YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU STATE THE FIRST CLAIM WAS SUBMITTED DURING YOUR SEPARATION PROCESSING BEFORE TRAVEL BEGAN. YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE ENTITLED TO A MONETARY ALLOWANCE FOR HER TRAVEL BASED ON YOUR CORRECTED STATEMENT OF FACTS. YOU STATE THAT SINCE THE FILING OF CLAIM FOR TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS PRIOR TO TRAVEL WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE THEN CURRENT PRACTICE AT BOLLING AIR FORCE BASE FINANCE OFFICE. 28 U.S.C. 2514 (CITED IN OUR SETTLEMENT) ARE APPLICABLE TO YOUR CLAIM.

B-129935, JAN. 31, 1957

TO MR. WILMOT G. RHODES:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 13, 1956, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 11, 1956, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION FOR YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO SAVANNAH, GEORGIA, DURING THE PERIOD MARCH 23 TO 26, 1953, INCIDENT TO YOUR SERVICE AS CAPTAIN, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE.

BY ORDERS DATED MARCH 20, 1953, BOLLING AIR FORCE BASE, WASHINGTON, D.C., YOU WERE RELEASED FROM ACTIVE DUTY. THE ORDERS STATED THAT YOU WOULD PROCEED TO SAVANNAH, GEORGIA (PERMANENT MAILING ADDRESS), AND THAT YOUR HOME OF RECORD UPON ENTRY ON ACTIVE DUTY WAS NORMAN, OKLAHOMA. ON MARCH 23, 1953, YOU EXECUTED A CLAIM IN WHICH YOU CERTIFIED THAT YOUR WIFE ACTUALLY TRAVELED FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO NORMAN, OKLAHOMA, DURING THE PERIOD MARCH 23 TO 28, 1953. ON THE BASIS OF YOUR CERTIFICATE ATTESTING THE CORRECTNESS OF THOSE FACTS, YOU WERE PAID $86.10 BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER AT BOLLING AIR FORCE BASE.

UPON AUDIT OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNTS WE QUESTIONED THE PAYMENT FOR THE REASON THAT EVIDENCE AVAILABLE TO US INDICATED YOUR WIFE HAD NOT TRAVELED BETWEEN THE POINTS CLAIMED. AS A RESULT, THE SUM OF $86.10 WAS COLLECTED FROM YOU. YOU THEN FILED YOUR PRESENT CLAIM IN WHICH YOU ALLEGE YOUR WIFE ACTUALLY TRAVELED A LESSER DISTANCE, THAT IS, FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO SAVANNAH, GEORGIA, DURING THE PERIOD MARCH 23 TO 26, 1953. YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU STATE THE FIRST CLAIM WAS SUBMITTED DURING YOUR SEPARATION PROCESSING BEFORE TRAVEL BEGAN, AND THAT DUE TO A LATER CHANGE IN PLANS YOUR WIFE DID NOT TRAVEL TO NORMAN, OKLAHOMA, BUT INSTEAD, TRAVELED TO SAVANNAH, GEORGIA. THEREFORE, YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE ENTITLED TO A MONETARY ALLOWANCE FOR HER TRAVEL BASED ON YOUR CORRECTED STATEMENT OF FACTS. ALSO, YOU STATE THAT SINCE THE FILING OF CLAIM FOR TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS PRIOR TO TRAVEL WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE THEN CURRENT PRACTICE AT BOLLING AIR FORCE BASE FINANCE OFFICE, AND THAT TRAVEL TO A DIFFERENT POINT THAN CLAIMED RESULTED FROM CHANGED PLANS, YOU DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 2514 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 25, 1948, 28 U.S.C. 2514 (CITED IN OUR SETTLEMENT) ARE APPLICABLE TO YOUR CLAIM.

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 STILL FURTHER OBLIGATION THAT CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES BE BASED ON TRUE FACTS. THE ACT OF JUNE 25, 1948, MENTIONED ABOVE, 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 WIFE TRAVELED FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO NORMAN, OKLAHOMA, WHEN THE VOUCHER WAS SUBMITTED APPARENTLY WITH THE FULL KNOWLEDGE THAT THE TRAVEL WAS NOT PERFORMED. THAT CLAIM IS FALSE AND IS FORFEITED. NOTWITHSTANDING YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE FILING OF CLAIMS FOR AN ALLOWANCE FOR TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS PRIOR TO THEIR TRAVEL WAS A COMMON PRACTICE; THAT CHANGED PLANS RESULTED IN TRAVEL TO A DIFFERENT POINT THAN CLAIMED, AND THAT THE TRUE FACTS ARE AS NOW ALLEGED, PAYMENT MAY NOT BE MADE ON YOUR CLAIM.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 11, 1956, WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.