B-133842, NOV. 1, 1957

B-133842: Nov 1, 1957

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THE MATTER WAS REFERRED TO OUR OFFICE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 236. THAT OFFICE ADVISED THE AUSTRIAN LEGATION THAT CASH BALANCES OF $32.93 AND $41.27 WERE HELD FOR THE CREDIT OF ONE MARIA LENZ WHO WAS DEAD AND WHO LEFT SURVIVING TWO HEIRS. THAT OFFICE AGAIN WROTE THE AUSTRIAN LEGATION ABOUT THE MATTER INDICATING THE NAMES OF THE HEIRS AS AUGUST AND HANS KOLPF WHOSE ADDRESSES WERE UNKNOWN. IS REPORTED THAT BOTH THE OFFICE OF ALIEN PROPERTY AND THE AUSTRIAN LEGATION MISSPELLED THE SURNAME OF THE HEIRS OF MARIA LENZ BY SPELLING IT KOLPF INSTEAD OF KOEPF. THESE FUNDS WERE TRANSFERRED TO TRUST 47669. CLAIMANTS UNLOCATED OR PROOF UNOBTAINABLE AND THE FUNDS WERE SUBSEQUENTLY REMITTED TO THE TREASURY PURSUANT TO PUBLIC LAW 1007.

B-133842, NOV. 1, 1957

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY:

LETTER OF JULY 9, 1957, ADDRESSED TO THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF OUR OFFICE, FROM THE FISCAL ASSISTANT SECRETARY FORWARDED A LETTER DATED MAY 31, 1957, ADDRESSED TO YOUR DEPARTMENT FROM THE OFFICE OF ALIEN PROPERTY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, SETTING FORTH THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE TRANSFER OF THE SUM OF $74.30 TO THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT FOR CREDIT TO MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS PURSUANT TO PUBLIC LAW 1007, 84TH CONGRESS, APPROVED AUGUST 6, 1956, 70 STAT. 1071. THE OFFICE OF ALIEN PROPERTY REQUESTED YOUR DEPARTMENT TO RETURN THE SUM OF $74.30 IN ORDER TO PERMIT THEM TO REESTABLISH THE AMOUNT ON THEIR BOOKS AND MAKE AN AWARD TO CERTAIN AUSTRIAN CLAIMENTS. THE MATTER WAS REFERRED TO OUR OFFICE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 236, REVISED STATUES, 31 U.S.C. 71, FOR APPROPRIATE ACTION SUGGESTING THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE CLAIM MAY BE PAYABLE FROM THE AMOUNT ,20X1807 REFUND OF MONEYS ERRONEOUSLY RECEIVED AND COVERED.'

THE FACTS OF RECORD AS DISCLOSED BY THE LETTER OF MAY 31, 1957, FROM THE OFFICE OF ALIEN PROPERTY SHOWS THAT BY LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 8, 1940, THAT OFFICE ADVISED THE AUSTRIAN LEGATION THAT CASH BALANCES OF $32.93 AND $41.27 WERE HELD FOR THE CREDIT OF ONE MARIA LENZ WHO WAS DEAD AND WHO LEFT SURVIVING TWO HEIRS, AUGUST AND HANS KOEPF. ON JANUARY 20, 1950, THAT OFFICE AGAIN WROTE THE AUSTRIAN LEGATION ABOUT THE MATTER INDICATING THE NAMES OF THE HEIRS AS AUGUST AND HANS KOLPF WHOSE ADDRESSES WERE UNKNOWN. BY LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 14, 1952, THE AUSTRIAN LEGATION INFORMED THAT OFFICE THAT THEY COULD NOT LOCATE AUGUST AND HANS KOLPF. IS REPORTED THAT BOTH THE OFFICE OF ALIEN PROPERTY AND THE AUSTRIAN LEGATION MISSPELLED THE SURNAME OF THE HEIRS OF MARIA LENZ BY SPELLING IT KOLPF INSTEAD OF KOEPF. AS A CONSEQUENCE OF THE COMMUNICATION FROM THE AUSTRIAN LEGATION, THESE FUNDS WERE TRANSFERRED TO TRUST 47669, CLAIMANTS UNLOCATED OR PROOF UNOBTAINABLE AND THE FUNDS WERE SUBSEQUENTLY REMITTED TO THE TREASURY PURSUANT TO PUBLIC LAW 1007. IT IS ASSERTED THAT HAD THE OFFICE OF ALIEN PROPERTY BEEN APPRISED OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE HEIRS THE AMOUNT OF $74.30 WOULD HAVE BEEN RETAINED FOR DISTRIBUTION TO THEM.

PUBLIC LAW 1007, 84TH CONGRESS, 70 STAT. 1071, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"THAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISIONS TO THE CONTRARY IN THE TRADING WITH THE ENEMY ACT, AS AMENDED, OR THE SETTLEMENT OF WAR CLAIMS ACT OF 1928, AS AMENDED, IS AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED AS SEEN AS PRACTICABLE AFTER THE DATE OF ENACTMENT HEREOF---

"/A) TO TRANSFER TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY FOR DEPOSIT IN THE MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS OF THE TREASURY ALL CASH CREDITED, OR WHICH MAY HEREAFTER BE CREDITED, ON THE BOOKS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IN THE FOLLOWING ACCOUNTS MAINTAINED WITH RESPECT TO PROPERTY OR INTERESTS ACQUIRED BY THE UNITED STATES PRIOR TO DECEMBER 18, 1941, UNDER THE TRADING WITH THE ENEMY ACT, AS AMENDED:

"/2) TRUST NUMBERED 47669, UNPAYABLE BALANCES ACCOUNT;

"SEC. 2. (A) NO PERSON SHALL HAVE ANY CLAIM TO ANY CASH OR OTHER ASSETS TRANSFERRED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY PURSUANT TO SECTION 1 EXCEPT PERSONS CLAIMING CASH TRANSFERRED PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION (C) OR (D) THEREOF.'

THE QUOTED PROVISION OF SECTION 1 ABOVE AUTHORIZES AND DIRECTS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO TRANSFER ALL CASH TO THE CREDIT OF THE NAMED ACCOUNTS, OR WHICH MAY THEREAFTER BE CREDITED TO SUCH ACCOUNTS, TO THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT FOR DEPOSITING IN THE MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS OF THE TREASURY. SECTION 2 BARS ALL CLAIMS TO ANY SUCH CASH OR OTHER ASSETS SO TRANSFERRED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL UNDER SECTION 1 (A) EXCEPT THOSE OF PERSONS CLAIMING CASH TRANSFERRED PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 1 (C) OR 1 (D). THESE INVOLVE COUNTRIES OTHER THAN AUSTRIA. OUR OPINION IS THAT UNDER THESE PROVISIONS ALL ACCOUNTS IN THE TRUST ACCOUNT NO. 47669 WERE REQUIRED TO BE TRANSFERRED TO THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT FOR DEPOSIT TO MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS AND NO CLAIM COULD THEREAFTER BE ENTERTAINED BY ANYONE OTHER THAN THOSE COVERED IN THE EXCEPTED SUBSECTIONS.

THE PURPOSE OF PUBLIC LAW 1007 WAS TO TRANSFER TO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES FUNDS CLAIMED BY PERSONS WHOSE WHEREABOUTS WERE UNKNOWN BECAUSE OF DEATH OR CHANGE OF RESIDENCE; ALSO, FUNDS CONSISTING OF AMOUNTS DEEMED EITHER BY THE CLAIMANT OR THE GOVERNMENT TO BE TOO SMALL TO JUSTIFY THE EXPENSE OF ESTABLISHING A BASIS FOR PAYMENT. SEE PAGE 57 OF THE HEARING BEFORE A SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY, UNITED STATES SENATE, ON S. 2226 WHICH BECAME PUBLIC LAW 1007. AT THE TIME ACTION WAS TAKEN BY THE OFFICE OF ALIEN PROPERTY WITH RESPECT TO THE FUNDS, THE WHEREABOUTS OF AUGUST AND HANS KOEPF WERE UNKNOWN TO THAT OFFICE AND THEREFORE SUCH ACTION WAS PROPER. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT MAY NOT BE SAID THAT THE FUNDS WERE ERRONEOUSLY RECEIVED AND COVERED SO AS TO MAKE AVAILABLE FOR REFUND THEREOF THE APPROPRIATION "20X1807 REFUND OF MONEYS ERRONEOUSLY RECEIVED AND COVERED," AS SUGGESTED.

YOU ARE ADVISED THEREFORE THAT NEITHER OUR OFFICE NOR YOUR DEPARTMENT IS AUTHORIZED TO TAKE ANY ACTION TOWARD THE PAYMENT OF THE SUM OF $74.30 TO THE OFFICE OF ALIEN PROPERTY IN ORDER TO PERMIT THAT OFFICE TO MAKE AN AWARD TO THE AUSTRIAN CLAIMANTS.