B-130032, JAN. 30, 1957

B-130032: Jan 30, 1957

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YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM ASSIGNMENT AND DUTY AT THAT STATION AND DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO CAMP STONEMAN. YOU WERE PAID $489.42 FOR THEIR ALLEGED TRAVEL ON VOUCHER NO. 15003 IN THE FEBRUARY 1953 ACCOUNTS OF C. UPON AUDIT OF THE VOUCHER AN EXCEPTION WAS TAKEN TO THE PAYMENT BECAUSE PLACES AND DATES OF NEGOTIATION OF CLASS Q ALLOTMENT CHECKS BY YOUR DEPENDENT INDICATED THAT THE TRAVEL AS CLAIMED WAS NOT PERFORMED. YOU FILED ANOTHER CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS IN WHICH YOU CERTIFIED THAT TRAVEL ACTUALLY WAS PERFORMED FROM MONTGOMERY. OUR DISALLOWANCE WAS BASED ON THE ACT OF JUNE 25. YOU FURTHER SAY THAT IN THE EARLY PART OF DECEMBER 1952 YOUR WIFE INFORMED YOU THAT SHE WAS GOING TO TRAVEL TO TOPPENISH.

B-130032, JAN. 30, 1957

TO TECHNICAL SERGEANT JACK H. ESTES, AF 14263335:

YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 1, 1956, REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 23, 1956, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS (WIFE AND CHILDREN) FROM MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA, TO SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, DURING THE PERIOD JULY 4 TO 13, 1953, INCIDENT TO YOUR CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS DATED MAY 9, 1952.

BY THE ORDERS OF MAY 9, 1952, MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, ALABAMA, YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM ASSIGNMENT AND DUTY AT THAT STATION AND DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO CAMP STONEMAN, CALIFORNIA, FOR MOVEMENT TO AN OVERSEAS DESTINATION. JANUARY 30, 1953, YOU SUBMITTED A VOUCHER FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS ON WHICH YOU CERTIFIED THAT YOUR DEPENDENTS (WIFE AND THREE CHILDREN) TRAVELED FROM MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, ALABAMA, TO TOPPENISH, WASHINGTON, BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE DURING THE PERIOD JANUARY 7 TO 13, 1953. YOU WERE PAID $489.42 FOR THEIR ALLEGED TRAVEL ON VOUCHER NO. 15003 IN THE FEBRUARY 1953 ACCOUNTS OF C. A. LITTLEFIELD, SYMBOL NO. 225- 416. UPON AUDIT OF THE VOUCHER AN EXCEPTION WAS TAKEN TO THE PAYMENT BECAUSE PLACES AND DATES OF NEGOTIATION OF CLASS Q ALLOTMENT CHECKS BY YOUR DEPENDENT INDICATED THAT THE TRAVEL AS CLAIMED WAS NOT PERFORMED. YOU REPAID THE SUM OF $489.42 TO THE GOVERNMENT.

ON MARCH 27, 1956, YOU FILED ANOTHER CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS IN WHICH YOU CERTIFIED THAT TRAVEL ACTUALLY WAS PERFORMED FROM MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA, TO SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, DURING THE PERIOD JULY 4 TO 13, 1953, INCIDENT TO YOUR CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS DATED MAY 9, 1952. OUR DISALLOWANCE WAS BASED ON THE ACT OF JUNE 25, 1948, 28 U.S.C. 2514.

IN YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 1, 1956, YOU SAY THAT YOU DID NOT KNOWINGLY MAKE A FALSE STATEMENT OR CLAIM. YOU FURTHER SAY THAT IN THE EARLY PART OF DECEMBER 1952 YOUR WIFE INFORMED YOU THAT SHE WAS GOING TO TRAVEL TO TOPPENISH, WASHINGTON, WHERE SHE WOULD RESIDE WITH HER AUNT UNTIL SHE COULD OBTAIN SPACE AVAILABLE TRANSPORTATION FROM SEATTLE TO JAPAN. YOU ALSO SAY THAT IN THE LATTER PART OF DECEMBER 1952 YOUR WIFE INDICATED THAT SHE WOULD LEAVE MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA, ON JANUARY 7, 1953, AND ARRIVE IN TOPPENISH, WASHINGTON, ON JANUARY 13, 1953; HOWEVER, DUE TO THE ILLNESS OF YOUR SON THE TRAVEL WAS NOT PERFORMED AS CLAIMED. YOU SAY THAT SINCE IT IS USUALLY THREE OR FOUR WEEKS BEFORE REIMBURSEMENT IS MADE FOR TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS, AND SINCE YOUR WIFE WOULD BE WITHOUT MONEY ON HER ARRIVAL IN TOPPENISH, YOU FILED THE CLAIM, ASSUMING SHE TRAVELED AS PLANNED. YOU FURTHER SAY THAT DUE TO THE CHRISTMAS BACK-LOG OF MAIL YOU WERE UNAWARE THAT THE TRAVEL HAD NOT BEEN PERFORMED ON THE DATES INDICATED ON THE VOUCHER ON WHICH YOU RECEIVED PAYMENT; NEVERTHELESS, YOU STATED IN THE VOUCHER THAT THE TRAVEL HAD BEEN PERFORMED ON SUCH DATES AND CERTIFIED THE VOUCHER AS BEING CORRECT IN ALL RESPECTS. SINCE YOUR DEPENDENTS HAD NOT PERFORMED THE TRAVEL, THE CLAIM WAS A FALSE CLAIM AND AS A RESULT YOU RECEIVED MONEYS TO WHICH YOU WERE NOT ENTITLED.

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 RIGHT 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. IN YOUR CASE, YOUR WIFE WAS NOT REQUIRED TO TRAVEL TO THE PORT OF EMBARKATION, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, UNTIL SHE RECEIVED A CALL OF THE PORT COMMANDER. IN THAT CONNECTION, IT APPEARS FROM THE RECORD THAT A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION FOR TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS TO JAPAN WAS NOT ISSUED UNTIL MAY 18, 1953. YOU WERE NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF YOUR DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL FROM MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, ALABAMA, TO TOPPENISH, WASHINGTON, SINCE THEY HAD NOT TRAVELED FROM MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE ON THE DATES AS ALLEGED. PAYMENT MAY NOT NOW BE MADE ON THE BASIS THAT THEY ACTUALLY TRAVELED FROM MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE TO SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, INCIDENT TO YOUR SAME CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS (MAY 9, 1952) AT A LATER DATE. THIS IS TRUE NOTWITHSTANDING YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOU DID NOT INTEND TO DEFRAUD THE GOVERNMENT BY CLAIMING REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL THAT WAS NOT PERFORMED.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 23, 1956, WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.