B-130013, JAN. 25, 1957

B-130013: Jan 25, 1957

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AUS: WE HAVE RECEIVED IN YOUR BEHALF A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 12. THERE WAS RECEIVED A LETTER DATED JANUARY 4. YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM CAMP RUCKER. ON THE BASIS OF YOUR CERTIFICATION THAT THOSE WERE THE TRUE FACTS. YOU WERE PAID $210.33 AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS INCIDENT TO THOSE ORDERS. THE PAYMENT WAS MADE BY AN ARMY DISBURSING OFFICER AT CAMP STONEMAN ON JANUARY 9. IN SUBSEQUENT CORRESPONDENCE YOU ADVISED US THAT THIS WAS THE ONLY TRAVEL PERFORMED BY YOUR DEPENDENTS INCIDENT TO THE ORDERS OF OCTOBER 22. YOUR SECOND CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY THE SETTLEMENT MENTIONED ABOVE. EXPRESS THE OPINION THAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS FROM CAMP RUCKER TO MINNEAPOLIS UNDER THE ORDERS TO OVERSEAS DUTY.

B-130013, JAN. 25, 1957

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL JOHN S. IRONS, AUS:

WE HAVE RECEIVED IN YOUR BEHALF A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 12, 1956, FROM THE FIRM OF ATTORNEYS MENTIONED ABOVE, IN EFFECT REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT OF SEPTEMBER 27, 1956, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS FROM OZARK, ALABAMA, TO MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA. ALSO, THERE WAS RECEIVED A LETTER DATED JANUARY 4, 1957, FROM YOUR ATTORNEYS INVOLVING THE SAME SUBJECT MATTER.

BY ORDERS DATED OCTOBER 22, 1951, YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM CAMP RUCKER, ALABAMA, TO FAR EAST COMMAND, YOKOHAMA, JAPAN (VIA CAMP STONEMAN, PITTSBURG, CALIFORNIA), FOR DUTY. PRIOR TO YOUR DEPARTURE FROM THE UNITED STATES YOU FILED A CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS (WIFE, AND SON AGE 7) INCIDENT TO THOSE ORDERS. IN PRESENTING THAT CLAIM YOU CERTIFIED THAT YOUR DEPENDENTS "ACTUALLY PERFORMED" TRAVEL FROM CAMP RUCKER, ALABAMA, TO 726 VIRGINIA STREET, SAN BERNARDINO, CALIFORNIA, DURING THE PERIOD DECEMBER 24, 1951, TO JANUARY 4, 1952. ON THE BASIS OF YOUR CERTIFICATION THAT THOSE WERE THE TRUE FACTS, YOU WERE PAID $210.33 AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS INCIDENT TO THOSE ORDERS. THE PAYMENT WAS MADE BY AN ARMY DISBURSING OFFICER AT CAMP STONEMAN ON JANUARY 9, 1952. UPON AUDIT OF THE OFFICER'S ACCOUNTS WE LEARNED THAT YOUR DEPENDENTS HAD NOT ESTABLISHED A RESIDENCE IN SAN BERNARDINO AND, THEREFORE, TOOK EXCEPTION TO THE PAYMENT. THIS CAUSED YOU TO REFUND THE AMOUNT PAID. ON JULY 25, 1955, YOU FILED A SECOND CLAIM (FOR $112.32) IN WHICH YOU CERTIFIED THAT YOUR DEPENDENTS ACTUALLY TRAVELED FROM OZARK, ALABAMA, TO MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE DURING THE PERIOD DECEMBER 1 TO 14, 1951.

IN SUBSEQUENT CORRESPONDENCE YOU ADVISED US THAT THIS WAS THE ONLY TRAVEL PERFORMED BY YOUR DEPENDENTS INCIDENT TO THE ORDERS OF OCTOBER 22, 1951. YOU STATED THAT THEY SUBSEQUENTLY TRAVELED TO SAN BERNARDINO, CALIFORNIA, AND THAT YOU RECEIVED A TRAVEL ALLOWANCE FOR THEIR RETURN TO MINNEAPOLIS UNDER DIFFERENT ORDERS. YOUR SECOND CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY THE SETTLEMENT MENTIONED ABOVE, CITING THE ACT OF JUNE 25, 1948, 28 U.S.C. 2514. IN THEIR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 12, 1956, YOUR ATTORNEYS QUESTION THE APPLICABILITY OF THAT LAW TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN YOUR CASE. THEY STATE YOUR DEPENDENTS INTENDED TO TRAVEL TO CALIFORNIA, AND EXPRESS THE OPINION THAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS FROM CAMP RUCKER TO MINNEAPOLIS UNDER THE ORDERS TO OVERSEAS DUTY.

PARAGRAPH 7003, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 303 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 813, 814, PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCES WHO TRANSPORTS HIS DEPENDENTSAT OWN EXPENSE MAY BE PAID A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED WITHIN THE UNITED STATES, AND THAT THE ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE AFTER THE TRAVEL HAS BEEN COMPLETED. HOWEVER, ANOTHER PROVISION OF 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 EVEN THOUGH THE CLAIMANT LATER ALTERS HIS STATEMENT TO REFLECT THE TRUE FACTS.

IN YOUR CASE, YOU CERTIFIED THAT YOUR DEPENDENTS TRAVELED FROM CAMP RUCKER, ALABAMA, TO SAN BERNARDINO, CALIFORNIA, APPARENTLY WITH THE FULL KNOWLEDGE THAT THE TRAVEL WAS NOT PERFORMED. THAT CLAIM WAS FALSE. THEREFORE, IT IS FORFEITED, AND NO AMOUNT MAY BE PAID ON YOUR SUBSEQUENT STATEMENT THAT THEY ACTUALLY TRAVELED A LESSER DISTANCE. ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF SEPTEMBER 27, 1956, WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.

WITH RESPECT TO THE TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS FROM MINNEAPOLIS TO SAN BERNARDINO AND RETURN IN AUGUST 1952, INCIDENT TO ORDERS RETURNING YOU TO THE UNITED STATES, SINCE IT NOW APPEARS THAT YOU WERE REIMBURSED FOR THEIR RETURN TRAVEL TO MINNEAPOLIS, AND THAT PAYMENT FOR ANY PART OF SUCH TRAVEL WAS OF DOUBTFUL LEGALITY, THE MATTER WILL BE THE SUBJECT OF AUDIT EXAMINATION.