B-167271, AUG. 21, 1969

B-167271: Aug 21, 1969

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

POSTAL MONEY ORDERS IMPOUNDED INCIDENT TO CONVICTION BY COURT-MARTIAL OF WRONGFULLY PURCHASING POSTAL MONEY ORDERS AND POSSESSING MILITARY PAYMENT CERTIFICATES IN VIOLATION OF CURRENCY REGULATIONS IN VIETNAM MUST HAVE FUNDS RETAINED BY THE UNITED STATES SINCE THE CLAIM IS UNSUPPORTED BY ANY EXPLANATION AS TO THE SOURCE OF FUNDS. THEREFORE WHEN THERE IS NO CONTROLLING JUDICIAL PRECEDENT RESPECTING DOUBTFUL CLAIMS AND IT IS DOUBTFUL AS TO ACTION THAT A COURT MIGHT TAKE. USMC: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR CLAIM FOR RETURN OF THE MONEY TAKEN FROM YOU AND IMPOUNDED AS EVIDENCE AND CONTRABAND IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR TRIAL BY GENERAL COURT-MARTIAL CONVENED IN VIETNAM ON JANUARY 5. YOU WERE FOUND GUILTY OF ALL CHARGES AND SPECIFICATIONS MADE AGAINST YOU.

B-167271, AUG. 21, 1969

MILITARY - PROPERTY SEIZED AS EVIDENCE - DISPOSITION DECISION DENYING CLAIM OF MARINE CORPS ENLISTED MAN FOR RETURN OF MONEY AND CONTRABAND IMPOUNDED AS EVIDENCE IN COURT-MARTIAL PROCEEDING. ENLISTED MEMBER WHO HAD MILITARY PAYMENT CERTIFICATES, POSTAL MONEY ORDERS IMPOUNDED INCIDENT TO CONVICTION BY COURT-MARTIAL OF WRONGFULLY PURCHASING POSTAL MONEY ORDERS AND POSSESSING MILITARY PAYMENT CERTIFICATES IN VIOLATION OF CURRENCY REGULATIONS IN VIETNAM MUST HAVE FUNDS RETAINED BY THE UNITED STATES SINCE THE CLAIM IS UNSUPPORTED BY ANY EXPLANATION AS TO THE SOURCE OF FUNDS. THEREFORE WHEN THERE IS NO CONTROLLING JUDICIAL PRECEDENT RESPECTING DOUBTFUL CLAIMS AND IT IS DOUBTFUL AS TO ACTION THAT A COURT MIGHT TAKE, THE CLAIM MUST BE DENIED.

TO PRIVATE JIMMIE DUNBAR, 2270803, USMC:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR CLAIM FOR RETURN OF THE MONEY TAKEN FROM YOU AND IMPOUNDED AS EVIDENCE AND CONTRABAND IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR TRIAL BY GENERAL COURT-MARTIAL CONVENED IN VIETNAM ON JANUARY 5, 1969.

THE RECORDS SHOW THAT BY GENERAL COURT-MARTIAL ORDER NO. 2-69, DATED JANUARY 31, 1969, YOU WERE FOUND GUILTY OF ALL CHARGES AND SPECIFICATIONS MADE AGAINST YOU, INCLUDING A VIOLATION OF MACV DIRECTIVE 37-6, PARAGRAPH 38A, DATED AUGUST 18, 1968, BY WRONGFULLY PURCHASING, WITH MILITARY PAYMENT CERTIFICATES, 26 POSTAL MONEY ORDERS EACH IN THE AMOUNT OF $100, AND A VIOLATION OF MACV DIRECTIVE 37-6, PARAGRAPH 8, DATED APRIL 17, 1968, BY WRONGFULLY HAVING IN YOUR POSSESSION MILITARY PAYMENT CERTIFICATES IN THE AMOUNT OF $990.

YOU WERE SENTENCED TO BE CONFINED AT HARD LABOR FOR 10 YEARS, TO FORFEIT ALL PAY AND ALLOWANCES AND TO BE DISCHARGED FROM THE SERVICE WITH A DISHONORABLE DISCHARGE. ONLY SO MUCH OF THE SENTENCE AS PROVIDED FOR CONFINEMENT AT HARD LABOR FOR 2 YEARS, FORFEITURE OF ALL PAY AND ALLOWANCES AND A DISHONORABLE DISCHARGE FROM THE SERVICE WAS APPROVED. JUNE 11, 1969, THE UNITED STATES COURT OF MILITARY APPEALS DENIED THE PETITION FOR REVIEW OF THE DECISION IN YOUR CASE.

THE RECORDS FURTHER SHOW THAT 99 $10 MILITARY PAYMENT CERTIFICATES, 800 RVN PIASTRES AND 28 $100 POSTAL MONEY ORDERS RECEIVED AS EVIDENCE IN THE COURT-MARTIAL PROCEEDINGS HAVE BEEN IMPOUNDED BY THE APPROPRIATE MARINE CORPS DISBURSING OFFICER AND POSTAL OFFICER. THERE IS NOTHING IN THE RECORDS BEFORE US SHOWING THAT YOU DISCLOSED THE SOURCE OF THE FUNDS WHICH YOU WERE CONVICTED OF ILLEGALLY HAVING IN YOUR POSSESSION. HOWEVER, IT IS INDICATED THAT THE ITEMS IMPOUNDED REPRESENTED THE PROFITS FROM UNLAWFUL CURRENCY TRANSACTIONS IN VIOLATION OF THE CURRENCY-CONTROL REGULATIONS IN EFFECT IN THE REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM.

WHERE FUNDS WHICH WERE APPARENTLY DERIVED FROM UNLAWFUL TRANSACTIONS COME INTO THE HANDS OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT, THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES DEMAND THAT SUCH FUNDS BE RETAINED BY THE GOVERNMENT UNLESS AND UNTIL A VALID CLAIM THEREFOR HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED. SEE SMITH V UNITED STATES, 130 CT. CL. 222 (1954), WHEREIN THE COURT HELD THAT THE PLAINTIFF WAS NOT ENTITLED TO RECOVER THE SUM TAKEN FROM HIM AT THE TIME OF HIS ARREST WHERE THE EVIDENCE DISCLOSED THAT SAID SUM HAD BEEN ACCUMULATED THROUGH UNLAWFUL CURRENCY TRANSACTIONS.

YOUR CLAIM IS UNSUPPORTED BY ANY EXPLANATION AS TO THE SOURCE OF THE FUNDS INVOLVED AND IS TOO DOUBTFUL TO ALLOW. WHEN A CASE ARISES WITH RESPECT TO WHICH THERE IS NO CONTROLLING JUDICIAL PRECEDENT AND AS TO WHICH SUBSTANTIAL DOUBT EXISTS AS TO THE ACTION WHICH A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION MIGHT TAKE, IT IS REGARDED AS THE DUTY OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS TO DENY THE CLAIM AND LEAVE THE CLAIMANT TO HIS REMEDY IN THE COURTS. SEE LONGWILL V UNITED STATES, 17 CT. CL. 288, 291 (1882) AND CHARLES V UNITED STATES, 19 CT. CL. 316, 319 (1884).