B-130957, APR. 23, 1957

B-130957: Apr 23, 1957

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BLACK: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 14. YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM ASSIGNMENT AND DUTY AT FORT BENNING. YOU SUBMITTED A VOUCHER FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL ON WHICH YOU CERTIFIED THAT TRAVEL "WAS ACTUALLY PERFORMED" FROM FORT BENNING. ON THE BASIS OF YOUR CERTIFICATION YOU WERE PAID $53.88 AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL AS CLAIMED. THAT YOU HAD NO IDEA OF THE DESTINATION TO WHICH YOU WERE TO BE REIMBURSED FOR YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL. THAT YOU HAVE NEVER CLAIMED A PERMANENT ADDRESS OTHER THAN IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA. THAT THERE WAS NO INTENT TO DEFRAUD THE GOVERNMENT. PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCES WHO TRANSPORTS HIS DEPENDENTS AT HIS OWN EXPENSE IS ENTITLED TO A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED WITHIN THE UNITED STATES.

B-130957, APR. 23, 1957

TO FIRST LIEUTENANT DONALD H. BLACK:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 14, 1957, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT OF JULY 16, 1958, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL FROM COLUMBUS, GEORGIA, TO FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA.

BY SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 246, DATED DECEMBER 11, 1952, YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM ASSIGNMENT AND DUTY AT FORT BENNING, GEORGIA, AND ASSIGNED TO UNITED STATES ARMY FORCES FAR EAST, YOKOHAMA, JAPAN. ON APRIL 3, 1953, YOU SUBMITTED A VOUCHER FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL ON WHICH YOU CERTIFIED THAT TRAVEL "WAS ACTUALLY PERFORMED" FROM FORT BENNING, GEORGIA, TO MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN, BETWEEN THE DATES OF JANUARY 30 AND FEBRUARY 2, 1953. ON THE BASIS OF YOUR CERTIFICATION YOU WERE PAID $53.88 AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL AS CLAIMED.

UPON AUDIT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER INVOLVED, HOWEVER, WE LEARNED THAT YOUR WIFE NEGOTIATED ALLOTMENT CHECKS IN FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA, AND HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA, IN JANUARY AND APRIL 1953, RESPECTIVELY, THUS INDICATING THAT SHE DID NOT ESTABLISH A RESIDENCE IN MILWAUKEE. LETTER OF DECEMBER 20, 1955, YOU ADVISED THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY THAT YOUR WIFE DID NOT TRAVEL TO MILWAUKEE AS CLAIMED. AFTER YOU REMITTED THE AMOUNT PAID, YOU FILED THE PRESENT CLAIM IN WHICH YOU STATE YOUR WIFE ACTUALLY TRAVELED FROM COLUMBUS, GEORGIA, TO FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA, BETWEEN THE DATES OF JANUARY 30 AND FEBRUARY 2, 1953. IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU STATE YOU SIGNED THE FIRST VOUCHER DURING A RATHER HECTIC ASSEMBLY LINE PROCESSING; THAT YOU HAD NO IDEA OF THE DESTINATION TO WHICH YOU WERE TO BE REIMBURSED FOR YOUR WIFE'S TRAVEL; THAT YOU HAVE NEVER CLAIMED A PERMANENT ADDRESS OTHER THAN IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA, AND THAT THERE WAS NO INTENT TO DEFRAUD THE GOVERNMENT.

PARAGRAPH 7003, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO LAW, PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCES WHO TRANSPORTS HIS DEPENDENTS AT HIS 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 RIGHT 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 FORT BENNING TO MILWAUKEE WHEN THE VOUCHER WAS SUBMITTED, APPARENTLY WITH FULL KNOWLEDGE THAT TRAVEL WAS NOT PERFORMED BETWEEN THOSE POINTS. THE CLAIM WAS FALSE AND IS FORFEITED. NOTWITHSTANDING YOUR PRESENT STATEMENT AS TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH THE CLAIM WAS FILED AND THAT YOU HAD NO INTENT TO DEFRAUD WHEN YOU FILED A CLAIM FOR A GREATER AMOUNT THAN WAS DUE, PAYMENT MAY NOT NOW BE MADE ON THE BASIS OF YOUR STATEMENT THAT YOUR WIFE ACTUALLY TRAVELED A LESSER DISTANCE INCIDENT TO YOUR CHANGE OF STATION.