B-150766, APR. 17, 1963

B-150766: Apr 17, 1963

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USAF: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JANUARY 4. WHICH YOU ALLEGE WAS REPAID TO THE GOVERNMENT TO COVER OVERPAYMENT OF REENLISTMENT BONUS CREDITED TO YOU ON REENLISTMENT ON MARCH 20. FOR A PERIOD OF 3 YEARS AND WERE CREDITED A REENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE OF $150. FOR A PERIOD OF 6 YEARS AND WERE CREDITED A REENLISTMENT BONUS OF $360. THAT YOU WERE HONORABLY DISCHARGED ON MARCH 19. $178.83 WAS RECOUPED TO COVER THE UNSERVED PERIOD OF YOUR 1954 REENLISTMENT AND THAT YOU REENLISTED ON MARCH 20. FOR A PERIOD OF 6 YEARS AN WERE CREDITED A REENLISTMENT BONUS OF $811.20 AS FOR A SECOND RATHER THAN A THIRD REENLISTMENT. COLLECTION OF THE EXCESS OF $405.60 WAS AUTHORIZED AN APPROPRIATE ENTRY WAS MADE IN YOUR PAY RECORDS SCHEDULING 24 MONTHLY DEDUCTIONS OF $17.50 TO COVER THE OVERPAYMENT.

B-150766, APR. 17, 1963

TO STAFF SERGEANT JOSEPH KULBACKI, USAF:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JANUARY 4, 1963, IN EFFECT REQUESTING REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED DECEMBER 27, 1962, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF THE AMOUNT OF $406.28, WHICH YOU ALLEGE WAS REPAID TO THE GOVERNMENT TO COVER OVERPAYMENT OF REENLISTMENT BONUS CREDITED TO YOU ON REENLISTMENT ON MARCH 20, 1957, IN THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE.

THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT YOU ORIGINALLY ENLISTED ON FEBRUARY 10, 1948, FOR A PERIOD OF 3 EARS; THAT YOU REENLISTED ON MARCH 12, 1951, FOR A PERIOD OF 3 YEARS AND WERE CREDITED A REENLISTMENT ALLOWANCE OF $150; THAT YOU REENLISTED ON MARCH 13, 1954, FOR A PERIOD OF 6 YEARS AND WERE CREDITED A REENLISTMENT BONUS OF $360; THAT YOU WERE HONORABLY DISCHARGED ON MARCH 19, 1957, AND $178.83 WAS RECOUPED TO COVER THE UNSERVED PERIOD OF YOUR 1954 REENLISTMENT AND THAT YOU REENLISTED ON MARCH 20, 1957, FOR A PERIOD OF 6 YEARS AN WERE CREDITED A REENLISTMENT BONUS OF $811.20 AS FOR A SECOND RATHER THAN A THIRD REENLISTMENT.

UNDER THE RULING IN OUR DECISION OF MARCH 30, 1955, B-121690, 34 COMP. GEN. 483, COLLECTION OF THE EXCESS OF $405.60 WAS AUTHORIZED AN APPROPRIATE ENTRY WAS MADE IN YOUR PAY RECORDS SCHEDULING 24 MONTHLY DEDUCTIONS OF $17.50 TO COVER THE OVERPAYMENT. COPIES OF YOUR PAY RECORDS DISCLOSE THAT A TOTAL OF $402.50 WAS COLLECTED BY DEDUCTIONS FROM YOUR PAY UP TO DECEMBER 31, 1962. THE ACTION TAKEN ON MILITARY PAY RECORD OPENED JANUARY 1, 1963, ON WHICH APPARENTLY AN UNLIQUIDATED BALANCE OF $17.50 WAS CARRIED FORWARD, IS NOT KNOWN, AS THAT PAY RECORD IS NOT AVAILABLE TO THIS OFFICE. HOWEVER, THE CORRECT BALANCE DUE WAS $3.10 WHICH WOULD MAKE A TOTAL OF $405.60 AS AGAINST THE AMOUNT OF $406.28 WHICH YOU SAY WAS REPAID.

YOUR CLAIM RECEIVED IN THIS OFFICE OCTOBER 22, 1962, WAS BASED ON THE RULING IN OUR DECISION, B-149714, OF SEPTEMBER 24, 1962, 42 COMP. GEN. - , RELATING TO WHETHER ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS OF REENLISTMENT BONUS WHICH HAVE BEEN CANCELLED OR REMITTED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE SHOULD BE COUNTED IN COMPUTING THE CUMULATIVE MAXIMUM ALLOWED BY LAW. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT, SINCE NO RECORD WAS FOUND THAT YOU MADE APPLICATION FOR REMISSION OR CANCELLATION OF THE OVERPAYMENT OF REENLISTMENT BONUS CREDITED FOR YOUR REENLISTMENT ON MARCH 20, 1957, THE CITED DECISION IS NOT APPLICABLE IN YOUR CASE AND REFUND WAS THEREFORE DENIED. YOU HAVE INDICATED THAT YOU CONSIDERED COMPUTATION OF THIS BONUS AS A THIRD REENLISTMENT BONUS TO BE CORRECT.

IN YOUR LETTER DATED JANUARY 4, 1963, YOU ALLEGE THAT YOU SUBMITTED A LETTER REQUESTING REMISSION OF THE OVERPAYMENT TO THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL IN APRIL 1958 STATING ALL THE FACTS SURROUNDING YOUR OVERPAYMENT, INCLUDING THE FACT THAT THE PERSON WHO GAVE YOU A BRIEFING AT MANHATTAN BEACH AIR FORCE STATION WAS CONVICTED OF EMBEZZLEMENT AND GIVEN A PRISON SENTENCE. YOU REFERRED TO THE FRAUDULENT TRANSACTIONS OF THAT PERSON, A CIVILIAN CLERK IN THE ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE OFFICE, AND INFER YOUR REQUEST FOR REMISSION WAS BASED ON THOSE TRANSACTIONS, ALTHOUGH YOU DO NOT ALLEGE THAT YOU MADE ANY REFUND TO HIM.

THE RECORDS OF THIS OFFICE DISCLOSE THAT THE FRAUDULENT TRANSACTIONS MADE BY THAT PERSON INVOLVED OVERPAYMENTS OF ACCRUED LEAVE RATHER THAN REENLISTMENT BONUS AND THERE IS NOW BEFORE CONGRESS A BILL, H.R. 1545, AUTHORIZING CREDITS FOR THE PAYMENTS MADE TO THAT PERSON BY EACH OF THE ENLISTED MEMBERS AND FORMER ENLISTED MEMBERS LISTED IN THE BILL AND PROVIDING THAT ANY PERSON NAMED THEREIN WHO MADE REPAYMENTS BOTH TO THAT PERSON AND TO THE UNITED STATES SHALL BE PAID THE EXCESS, IF OTHERWISE PROPER. THE BILL, IF ENACTED INTO LAW, WILL RELIEVE ONLY THOSE MEN SPECIFICALLY NAMED AND WOULD HAVE NO BEARING ON YOUR CASE.

THERE IS NO RECORD IN THIS OFFICE OF THE RECEIPT OF THE LETTER YOU SAY WAS SUBMITTED IN APRIL 1958 AND THE AIR FORCE ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE CENTER, DENVER, COLORADO, REPORTS THAT RECORDS AVAILABLE TO THAT OFFICE DO NOT INDICATE THAT YOU HAVE MADE APPLICATION FOR REMISSION OR CANCELLATION OF THE DEBT.

SECTION 9837 (D), TITLE 10, U.S. CODE, APPLICABLE TO THE AIR FORCE, PROVIDES THAT:

"IF HE CONSIDERS IT IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE UNITED STATES, THE SECRETARY MAY HAVE REMITTED OR CANCELLED ANY PART OF AN ENLISTED MEMBER'S INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES OR ANY OF ITS INSTRUMENTALITIES REMAINING UNPAID BEFORE, OR AT THE TIME OF, THAT MEMBER'S HONORABLE DISCHARGE.'

SINCE THERE IS NO RECORD THAT THE AMOUNT OF THE OVERPAYMENT MADE IN YOUR CASE WAS REMITTED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE BEFORE IT WAS COLLECTED FROM YOU, REFUND OF ANY PORTION OF THE AMOUNT COLLECTED BY DEDUCTIONS FROM YOUR PAY IS NOT AUTHORIZED. ACCORDINGLY, SETTLEMENT DATED DECEMBER 27, 1962, DENYING YOUR CLAIM WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.