B-139963, JUL. 6, 1959

B-139963: Jul 6, 1959

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CHERRY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF MARCH 6. WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF MONEY BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN DEPOSITED IN THE SOLDIERS' DEPOSITS. WHILE YOU WERE HOSPITALIZED IN A UNITED STATES ARMY HOSPITAL NEAR SYDNEY. YOUR CLAIM WAS DENIED BY THE SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 29. SINCE THE BARRING ACT DOES NOT APPLY TO AMOUNTS DEPOSITED IN THE SOLDIERS' DEPOSIT ACCOUNT THAT ACTION WAS IMPROPER AND YOUR CLAIM SHOULD HAVE BEEN SETTLED ON ITS MERITS. A SEARCH OF THE APPROPRIATE SOLDIERS' DEPOSIT RECORDS FAILS TO DISCLOSE THAT ANY MONEY WAS EVER DEPOSITED BY YOU OR IN YOUR NAME. IN THE ABSENCE OF A RECEIPT FOR THE DEPOSIT WE HAVE NO MEANS OF VERIFYING THE TRANSACTION. WE ARE ADVISED THAT AT THE TIME WHEN YOU SAY YOU GAVE SERGEANT POSEY THE 150 POUNDS STERLING FOR DEPOSIT IT WAS THE PRACTICE TO MAINTAIN DEPOSITORY ACCOUNTS AT MILITARY HOSPITALS FOR THE PURPOSE OF SAFEGUARDING MONIES OF PATIENTS.

B-139963, JUL. 6, 1959

TO MR. JAMES L. CHERRY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF MARCH 6, 1959, AND APRIL 16, 1959, FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE BY THE FINANCE CENTER, UNITED STATES ARMY, ON MAY 18, 1959, IN EFFECT REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 29, 1959, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF MONEY BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN DEPOSITED IN THE SOLDIERS' DEPOSITS.

AS A BASIS FOR YOUR CLAIM, YOU SAY THAT DURING THE SPRING OF 1943, WHILE YOU WERE HOSPITALIZED IN A UNITED STATES ARMY HOSPITAL NEAR SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, YOU TURNED OVER TO SERGEANT NICK POSEY, A FINANCE OFFICER AT THE HOSPITAL, 150 POUNDS STERLING FOR DEPOSIT IN A SOLDIERS' DEPOSIT ACCOUNT, AND THAT THE RECEIPT WHICH SERGEANT POSEY GAVE YOU FOR THE MONEY HAS BEEN LOST.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DENIED BY THE SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 29, 1959, AS A CLAIM BARRED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, 54 STAT. 1061, 31 U.S.C. 237, DUE TO YOUR FAILURE TO FILE YOUR CLAIM IN THIS OFFICE WITHIN 10 YEARS OF THE DATE OF ITS ACCRUAL. SINCE THE BARRING ACT DOES NOT APPLY TO AMOUNTS DEPOSITED IN THE SOLDIERS' DEPOSIT ACCOUNT THAT ACTION WAS IMPROPER AND YOUR CLAIM SHOULD HAVE BEEN SETTLED ON ITS MERITS. A SEARCH OF THE APPROPRIATE SOLDIERS' DEPOSIT RECORDS FAILS TO DISCLOSE THAT ANY MONEY WAS EVER DEPOSITED BY YOU OR IN YOUR NAME, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF A RECEIPT FOR THE DEPOSIT WE HAVE NO MEANS OF VERIFYING THE TRANSACTION.

WE ARE ADVISED THAT AT THE TIME WHEN YOU SAY YOU GAVE SERGEANT POSEY THE 150 POUNDS STERLING FOR DEPOSIT IT WAS THE PRACTICE TO MAINTAIN DEPOSITORY ACCOUNTS AT MILITARY HOSPITALS FOR THE PURPOSE OF SAFEGUARDING MONIES OF PATIENTS. THESE ACCOUNTS WERE MAINTAINED BY ARMY PERSONNEL, BUT THE FUNDS THEREIN WERE NOT OFFICIAL MONIES AND WERE TO BE RETURNED TO THE PATIENT ON DISCHARGE OR TRANSFER FROM THE HOSPITAL. POSSIBLY THE MONEY IN QUESTION WAS PLACED IN SUCH AN ACCOUNT. HOWEVER, THE RECORDS OF SUCH ACCOUNTS, WHICH ARE RETAINED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, ARE DESTROYED PURSUANT TO LAW AFTER A 12 YEAR PERIOD UNDER CURRENT RECORD DISPOSAL PROCEDURES. SINCE THE RECORDS PERTAINING TO SUCH ACCOUNTS SET UP IN 1943 HAVE NOW BEEN DESTROYED WE ARE UNABLE TO ADVISE YOU AS TO WHETHER YOUR MONEY WAS HANDLED AND REPAID TO YOU UNDER THAT PROCEDURE.

WE PROPERLY MAY NOT AUTHORIZE THE REFUND OF AN AMOUNT FROM THE SOLDIERS' DEPOSIT ACCOUNT, OR OTHER DEPOSITORY ACCOUNT, IN THE ABSENCE OF SOME OFFICIAL RECORD SHOWING THAT SUCH AMOUNT WAS RECEIVED BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR DEPOSITING IN THAT ACCOUNT. NO OFFICIAL RECORD OF YOUR DEPOSIT HAS BEEN FOUND AND APPARENTLY, AT THIS LATE DATE, NONE IS IN EXISTENCE. ACCORDINGLY, UNLESS YOU ARE ABLE TO FURNISH SOME RECORD EVIDENCE OF THE DEPOSIT WE CANNOT GIVE YOUR CLAIM FAVORABLE CONSIDERATION.