B-47755 June 2, 1945

B-47755: Jun 2, 1945

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Robinson: Reference is made to your letter of March 20. Which claim was disallowed by letter of this office of March 16. Contending you had lost the check and that your endorsement thereon was forged by a persons or persons unknown to you. The check and file containing specimens of your signature were submitted to the Examiner of Questioned Documents. As follows: "I have made a careful examination and comparison of all the writing described. As a result of this study I have the following to report:" "1. I am strongly inclined to the opinion that the check bears the genuine endorsement of the payee:" While the sincerity of your allegations of non negotiation of the check is not questioned.

B-47755 June 2, 1945

Mr. Raymond E. Robinson, Air Traffic Control Inspector, Civil Aeronautics Administration, 84 Marietta Street, N.W., Atlanta 3, Georgia.

Dear Mr. Robinson:

Reference is made to your letter of March 20, 1945, relative to your claim for the proceeds of check No. 65,389, dated March 31, 1943, in the amount of $134.14, drawn to your order by G.F. Allen, symbol 158-106, which claim was disallowed by letter of this office of March 16, 1945.

In affidavit executed by you in support of your claim for the proceeds of the check you admit having received the said check but deny having indorsed or negotiated it -- contending you had lost the check and that your endorsement thereon was forged by a persons or persons unknown to you. In the light of said affidavit, the check and file containing specimens of your signature were submitted to the Examiner of Questioned Documents, a Government handwriting expert for examination and determination of the authenticity of the payee's endorsement, and that official reported on July 11, 1944, as follows:

"I have made a careful examination and comparison of all the writing described, and as a result of this study I have the following to report:"

"1. I am strongly inclined to the opinion that the check bears the genuine endorsement of the payee:"

While the sincerity of your allegations of non negotiation of the check is not questioned, no evidence has been adduced to support your self-serving declaration that you did not, in fact, indorse the check.

In the absence of positive findings in the matter great weight must be given to the opinion rendered by the Government handwriting expert, and in view of his report it must be held that forgery of the payee's endorsement on the check has not been established, and since it is not shown that the second indorser, the Walgreen Drug Stores Company, took title thereto with knowledge of want of ownership, there became vested in such bona fide holder a paramount right to the proceeds thereof.

On the present state of the record there is no authority of law for payment of the amount of the involved check to you; accordingly, the action taken in office letter of March 16, 1945, must be and is sustained.

In response to your request for information as to "what further action I can take in requesting payment of the amount of the check in question," I can only say that the burden to overcome the effect of the opinion of the Government handwriting expert rendered in this case rests with you, and there is no advice which I may give you in that connection.

Respectfully,

(Signed) Lindsay C. Warren Comptroller General of the United States