B-133815, OCT. 15, 1957

B-133815: Oct 15, 1957

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JR.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED AUGUST 12. THE ALLOTMENT WAS PAID FOR THE MONTHS OF MAY THROUGH NOVEMBER 1943. THAT THE UNITED STATES IS NOT BOUND BY ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS MADE BY ITS OFFICERS WITH OR WITHOUT JURISDICTION AND WHETHER OR NOT MADE UNDER MISTAKE OF LAW OR FACT. WITH REGARD TO THE CONTENTION THAT THE OVERPAYMENT WAS RECEIVED BY YOU IN GOOD FAITH AND AS A RESULT OF ERROR ON THE PART OF THE GOVERNMENT. WE CALL YOUR ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT YOUR MONTHLY PAY FOR THE MONTHS OF MAY THROUGH NOVEMBER 1943 WAS PAID TO YOU ON THE BASIS OF SPECIFIC INFORMATION FURNISHED BY YOU IN EACH OF YOUR PAY VOUCHERS FOR THOSE MONTHS (WAR DEPARTMENT FORM NO. 336-REVISED (PAY AND ALLOWANCES ACCOUNT) ).

B-133815, OCT. 15, 1957

TO MR. HOWARD SHEEHAN, JR.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED AUGUST 12, 1957, WRITTEN IN YOUR BEHALF BY MR. MOORE, CONCERNING YOUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE AMOUNT OF $700.

ON APRIL 13, 1943, YOU EXECUTED W.D., A.G.O. FORM NO. 29 (AUTHORIZATION OF ALLOTMENT OF PAY), AUTHORIZING A CLASS E ALLOTMENT OF $100 A MONTH EFFECTIVE MAY 1, 1943, IN FAVOR OF VALLEY NATIONAL BANK, PHOENIX, ARIZONA, FOR DEPOSIT TO YOUR CREDIT IN THAT BANK. THE ALLOTMENT WAS PAID FOR THE MONTHS OF MAY THROUGH NOVEMBER 1943, WITHOUT A CORRESPONDING DEDUCTION BEING MADE FROM YOUR PAY AS A COMMISSIONED OFFICER IN THE ARMY, RESULTING IN AN OVERPAYMENT TO YOU OF $700. BY LETTER DATED JUNE 6, 1957, OUR CLAIMS DIVISION ADVISED MR. MOORE, IN REPLY TO HIS PREVIOUS LETTER OF APRIL 19, 1957, WRITTEN IN YOUR BEHALF, THAT THE UNITED STATES IS NOT BOUND BY ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS MADE BY ITS OFFICERS WITH OR WITHOUT JURISDICTION AND WHETHER OR NOT MADE UNDER MISTAKE OF LAW OR FACT. IN HIS PRESENT COMMUNICATION MR. MOORE CONTENDS THAT PAYMENTS MADE IN GOOD FAITH TO OFFICERS UPON ERRONEOUS CONSTRUCTION OF STATUTES OR MISTAKE OF FACT CANNOT BE RECOVERED.

WITH REGARD TO THE CONTENTION THAT THE OVERPAYMENT WAS RECEIVED BY YOU IN GOOD FAITH AND AS A RESULT OF ERROR ON THE PART OF THE GOVERNMENT, WE CALL YOUR ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT YOUR MONTHLY PAY FOR THE MONTHS OF MAY THROUGH NOVEMBER 1943 WAS PAID TO YOU ON THE BASIS OF SPECIFIC INFORMATION FURNISHED BY YOU IN EACH OF YOUR PAY VOUCHERS FOR THOSE MONTHS (WAR DEPARTMENT FORM NO. 336-REVISED (PAY AND ALLOWANCES ACCOUNT) ). ALTHOUGH EACH OF THE VOUCHERS, ON FILE HERE, CONTAINS A SPACE UNDER THE DEBIT ITEMS (ITEM 12) FOR THE INSERTION OF THE AMOUNT OF A CLASS E ALLOTMENT, YOU FAILED TO INDICATE IN THE VOUCHERS THAT YOU HAD ANY SUCH ALLOTMENT IN EFFECT, AND IN ITEM 16 YOU CERTIFIED THE ACCOUNT SHOWN WAS TRUE AND CORRECT. IT WAS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY IN CERTIFYING YOUR OWN PAY VOUCHERS TO STATE ALL APPROPRIATE DEDUCTIONS ON EACH VOUCHER. PARAGRAPH 6-A (3), AR 35 5520, DATED MARCH 3, 1941, IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIOD YOU PREPARED AND CERTIFIED THE PAY VOUCHERS IN QUESTION, PROVIDED THAT THE ALLOTTER WHEN HE PREPARES AND CERTIFIES HIS OWN PAY VOUCHER HAS THE RESPONSIBILITY TO IMMEDIATELY ENTER THE ALLOTMENT ON THE PERTINENT RECORDS AS A CHARGE AGAINST HIS PAY, AND TO ENTER SUCH CHARGE ON HIS PAY VOUCHERS AS A DEDUCTION FOR THE MONTH IN WHICH THE ALLOTMENT WAS AUTHORIZED. THE REGULATION ALSO REQUIRED THAT SUCH ACTION BE TAKEN WITHOUT WAITING FOR WORD FROM THE FINANCE OFFICER, UNITED STATES ARMY, WASHINGTON, D.C., THAT THE ALLOTMENT HAS BEEN RECEIVED AND ACCEPTED.

THUS, IT IS CLEAR THAT YOU ALONE WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE OVERPAYMENT, AND THAT YOU WERE PAID $700 IN EXCESS OF THAT TO WHICH YOU WERE LEGALLY ENTITLED. IF YOU HAD PROPERLY ENTERED THE REQUIRED CLASS E ALLOTMENT DEDUCTIONS AS REQUIRED BY THE REGULATION, IT WOULD HAVE RESULTED IN THE PAYMENT TO YOU OF $700 LESS THAN THE AMOUNT ACTUALLY PAID TO YOU FOR THE MONTHS OF MAY THROUGH NOVEMBER 1943. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES AND AS A FORMER COMMISSIONED OFFICER OF THE ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES WHO WAS PERMITTED TO CERTIFY AS TO THE CORRECTNESS OF YOUR OWN VOUCHERS, INCLUDING ALL ALLOTMENT ITEMS PROPERLY TO BE DEDUCTED FROM YOUR ACCRUED PAY AND ALLOWANCES, IT SHOULD BE READILY APPARENT TO YOU THAT THE OVERPAYMENT WAS NOT RECEIVED BY YOU IN GOOD FAITH AND THAT YOU ARE BOUND AT EQUITY AND GOOD CONSCIENCE TO MAKE RESTITUTION OF WHAT NEVER RIGHTFULLY BELONGED TO YOU AT ALL.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE REQUESTED TO REMIT THE SUM OF $700 WITHIN 30 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THIS LETTER OR WITHIN THAT TIME MAKE SUITABLE ARRANGEMENTS FOR ITS LIQUIDATION. SUCH SUMS SHOULD BE REMITTED TO US BY CHECK, DRAFT, OR MONEY ORDERS PAYABLE TO THE UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, POST OFFICE BOX 2610, WASHINGTON 13, D.C. UNLESS SUCH PAYMENT OR SUITABLE ARRANGEMENTS ARE MADE WITHIN THAT TIME, A DEBT CHARGE WILL BE RAISED AGAINST YOU AND THE MATTER WILL BE REFERRED TO THE APPROPRIATE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY.