B-142479, APR. 28, 1960

B-142479: Apr 28, 1960

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IT WAS STATED IN YOUR LETTER. THE PROCEEDS THEREOF WERE NOT CREDITED TO YOUR ACCOUNT. YOU THEN REFERRED TO THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY AND BY OUR OFFICE RESPECTING YOUR CLAIM AND YOU EXPRESSED THE VIEW THAT YOU SHOULD BE GIVEN ASSISTANCE BY THE GOVERNMENT IN AN EFFORT TO ASCERTAIN WHETHER THE BANK WAS AT FAULT IN ANY WAY. OTHER THAN WHAT IS SET FORTH IN YOUR LETTERS. WE HAVE NO INFORMATION RESPECTING THE NONRECEIPT BY THE BANK OF THE CHECKS INVOLVED OR THE FAILURE OF THE BANK TO CREDIT THE PROCEEDS THEREOF TO YOUR ACCOUNT. OR WARRANTS APPEARING FROM THE RECORDS OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE OR THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT TO HAVE BEEN PAID. THAT REPLY WAS MADE THERETO UNDER DATE OF AUGUST 19.

B-142479, APR. 28, 1960

TO MR. JOHN M. TEUFEL, JR.:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED BY REFERENCE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 13, 1960, WITH ENCLOSURES, ADDRESSED TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, RELATING TO YOUR CLAIM FOR THE PROCEEDS OF CERTAIN CLASS E ALLOTMENT CHECKS DRAWN BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT TO THE ORDER OF THE FIRST NATIONAL BANK, ALTOONA, PENNSYLVANIA, FOR THE PERIOD AUGUST 1942 THROUGH MAY 1944, FOR DEPOSIT TO YOUR ACCOUNT. ALSO, THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 3, 1960.

IT WAS STATED IN YOUR LETTER, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT THE FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF ALTOONA HAS NO RECORD OF EVER HAVING RECEIVED THE CHECKS IN QUESTION AND THUS, OF COURSE, THE PROCEEDS THEREOF WERE NOT CREDITED TO YOUR ACCOUNT. YOU THEN REFERRED TO THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY AND BY OUR OFFICE RESPECTING YOUR CLAIM AND YOU EXPRESSED THE VIEW THAT YOU SHOULD BE GIVEN ASSISTANCE BY THE GOVERNMENT IN AN EFFORT TO ASCERTAIN WHETHER THE BANK WAS AT FAULT IN ANY WAY.

OTHER THAN WHAT IS SET FORTH IN YOUR LETTERS, WE HAVE NO INFORMATION RESPECTING THE NONRECEIPT BY THE BANK OF THE CHECKS INVOLVED OR THE FAILURE OF THE BANK TO CREDIT THE PROCEEDS THEREOF TO YOUR ACCOUNT, AND UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES IT APPEARS THAT INFORMATION IN THAT CONNECTION WOULD BE OF NO USEFUL PURPOSE IN DETERMINING THE GOVERNMENT'S OBLIGATION WITH RESPECT TO SUCH CHECKS.

SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 22, 1926, 44 STAT. 761, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 3/A) OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 28, 1957, 71 STAT. 465, PROVIDES, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"HEREAFTER ALL CLAIMS ON ACCOUNT OF ANY CHECK, CHECKS, WARRANT, OR WARRANTS APPEARING FROM THE RECORDS OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE OR THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT TO HAVE BEEN PAID, SHALL BE BARRED IF NOT PRESENTED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE OR THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN SIX YEARS AFTER THE DATE OF ISSUANCE OF THE CHECK, CHECKS, WARRANT, OR WARRANTS INVOLVED.'

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT BY LETTER OF JULY 3, 1959, YOU MADE INQUIRY OF THE U. S. ARMY FINANCE CENTER, INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, REGARDING YOUR CLAIM, AND THAT REPLY WAS MADE THERETO UNDER DATE OF AUGUST 19, 1959, SUGGESTING THAT YOU CONTACT THE CHIEF OF THE CHECK CLAIMS DIVISION, TREASURY DEPARTMENT. BY LETTER OF OCTOBER 21, 1959, THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT REPLIED TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 23, 1959, ADVISING YOU THAT THE CHECKS INVOLVED WERE PAID AND DESTROYED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROCEDURE ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO THE FEDERAL RECORDS ACT OF 1950, 44 U.S.C. 392-401.

YOUR CLAIM WAS FIRST BROUGHT TO OUR ATTENTION BY LETTER DATED JANUARY 21, 1960, FROM THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT, AND THEREAFTER BY LETTER OF FEBRUARY 26, 1960, OUR CLAIMS DIVISION MADE REFERENCE TO THE 1926 STATUTE QUOTED ABOVE AND ADVISED YOU THAT, SINCE YOUR CLAIM WAS NOT SUBMITTED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WITHIN THE SPECIFIED SIX-YEAR PERIOD, NO ACTION COULD BE TAKEN THEREON IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING THAT A PRIOR CLAIM HAD BEEN FILED WITH THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES. TO THE SAME EFFECT WERE OUR LETTER OF MARCH 9, 1960, TO YOU, AND OUR LETTER OF MARCH 10, 1960, TO HONORABLE JAMES E. VAN ZANDT, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. AS WAS STATED IN OUR LETTER OF MARCH 9, 1960, IN THE EXERCISE OF OUR CLAIMS SETTLING FUNCTION OUR OFFICE IS REQUIRED TO ADHERE STRICTLY TO THE LAW APPLICABLE TO A PARTICULAR CASE. UPON THE BASIS OF THE RECORD THE ACTION HERETOFORE TAKEN RESPECTING YOUR CLAIM APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN CORRECT AND IS, THEREFORE, SUSTAINED.

IT MAY BE POINTED OUT ALSO THAT, EVEN IF THE CHECKS WERE NEVER RECEIVED BY THE BANK AND WERE ERRONEOUSLY NEGOTIATED, YOUR FAILURE TIMELY TO FILE A CLAIM FOR THEIR NONRECEIPT HAS NOW PLACED THE GOVERNMENT IN A POSITION WHEREBY IT CANNOT IN ANY EVENT HAVE RECOURSE AGAINST THE ENDORSERS. SEE 31 U.S.C. 129, PROHIBITING ANY ATTEMPT BY THE UNITED STATES TO ENFORCE LIABILITY OF AN ENDORSER ON A GOVERNMENT CHECK UNLESS ACTION TO ENFORCE THE SAME OR NOTICE OF LIABILITY IS GIVEN THE ENDORSER WITHIN SIX YEARS OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE CHECK TO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES FOR PAYMENT. CF. UNITED STATES. V. UNION PLANTERS NATIONAL BANK AND TRUST COMPANY. 175 F.2D 684.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR REQUEST, THE ENCLOSURES TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 13, 1960, ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.