B-90774, B-86001, APR. 2, 1956

B-86001,B-90774: Apr 2, 1956

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UNITED STATES ATTORNEY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED OCTOBER 7. THE INDEBTEDNESS IS BASED UPON A REPORT OF INVESTIGATION NO. I-17000 2989 (12148) WHICH INDICATED THAT THE MOTHER WAS NOT IN FACT DEPENDENT UPON THE FORMER OFFICER FOR CHIEF SUPPORT. INCLUDING PERSONAL INTERVIEWS WITH THE MOTHER AND FATHER WHO WERE LIVING TOGETHER. DISCLOSED THAT THE DEBTOR ON THE REVERSE SIDE OF HIS PAYVOUCHERS FOR THE MONTHS OF FEBRUARY 1948 THROUGH NOVEMBER 1948 CERTIFIED THAT HE CONTRIBUTED $125 A MONTH FOR THE SUPPORT OF HIS MOTHER AND THAT LIVING EXPENSES OF THE MOTHER AND FATHER WERE FROM $125 TO $150 A MONTH. SEGAL WAS INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE SUM OF $2. ON THE BASIS OF HIS FALSE CERTIFICATIONS THAT HIS MOTHER WAS DEPENDENT UPON HIM FOR HER CHIEF SUPPORT.

B-90774, B-86001, APR. 2, 1956

TO MR. ROBERT TIEKEN, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED OCTOBER 7, 1955, TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, ATTENTION MR. RUSSELL CHAPIN, ACTING CHIEF, VETERANS AFFAIRS SECTION, CONCERNING THE INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES OF DR. PETER B. SEGAL FOR THE ERRONEOUS PAYMENT TO HIM OF INCREASED RENTAL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES ON ACCOUNT OF HIS DEPENDENT MOTHER INCIDENT TO SERVICE AS A COMMISSIONED OFFICER, ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES.

IN THE LETTER OF OCTOBER 7, 1955, YOU REFER TO A LETTER DATED OCTOBER 3, 1953, FROM THE DEBTOR TO THE CHIEF, SURVEY AND SETTLEMENT DIVISION, OFFICE, DIRECTOR OF FINANCE, DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, CONCERNING THIS MATTER. IN ORDER TO DISCUSS THE MATTER WITH DR. SEGAL YOU REQUEST AN EXPLANATION AS TO THE FACTS ALLEGED BY HIM IN THE LETTER OF OCTOBER 3, 1953.

THE INDEBTEDNESS IS BASED UPON A REPORT OF INVESTIGATION NO. I-17000 2989 (12148) WHICH INDICATED THAT THE MOTHER WAS NOT IN FACT DEPENDENT UPON THE FORMER OFFICER FOR CHIEF SUPPORT. THE INVESTIGATION, INCLUDING PERSONAL INTERVIEWS WITH THE MOTHER AND FATHER WHO WERE LIVING TOGETHER, DISCLOSED THAT THE DEBTOR ON THE REVERSE SIDE OF HIS PAYVOUCHERS FOR THE MONTHS OF FEBRUARY 1948 THROUGH NOVEMBER 1948 CERTIFIED THAT HE CONTRIBUTED $125 A MONTH FOR THE SUPPORT OF HIS MOTHER AND THAT LIVING EXPENSES OF THE MOTHER AND FATHER WERE FROM $125 TO $150 A MONTH, WITH A YEARLY INCOME FROM OTHER SOURCES OF $1,080, OR AN AVERAGE OF $90 A MONTH. THE MOTHER INFORMED THE INVESTIGATORS THAT SHE DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING CONCERNING THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF HER SON TO HER SUPPORT. THE FATHER SAID HIS SON "SOMETIMES SENT HOME $100.00 AND SOMETIMES "JUST NICKELS.'" INFORMATION AS TO THE AMOUNT ACTUALLY CONTRIBUTED BY THE FORMER OFFICER ON A MONTHLY OR ANNUAL BASIS COULD NOT BE DETERMINED AS THE FATHER DID NOT CARE TO ESTIMATE. PAYROLL RECORDS OF THE COMPANY WHERE THE FATHER HAD BEEN STEADILY EMPLOYED SINCE 1943 DISCLOSED THAT HE EARNED $2,274.20 FOR THE YEAR 1948 AND THAT HE CLAIMED HIS WIFE AS A DEPENDENT FOR INCOME TAX PURPOSES.

BY UNITED STATES CERTIFICATE OF INDEBTEDNESS NO. US 77672, DATED JUNE 30, 1953, OUR CLAIMS DIVISION CERTIFIED THAT DR. SEGAL WAS INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE SUM OF $2,455.50 FOR THE ERRONEOUS PAYMENT TO HIM OF INCREASED RENTAL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES FOR THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 28, 1947, TO AUGUST 3, 1949, AND FOR 55 DAYS' TERMINAL LEAVE, ON THE BASIS OF HIS FALSE CERTIFICATIONS THAT HIS MOTHER WAS DEPENDENT UPON HIM FOR HER CHIEF SUPPORT. A COPY OF THE CERTIFICATE OF INDEBTEDNESS WAS SENT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE BY CLAIMS DIVISION LETTER OF AUGUST 17, 1955, WITH THE RECOMMENDATION THAT APPROPRIATE COLLECTION ACTION BE TAKEN.

IN THE LETTER OF OCTOBER 3, 1953, THE DEBTOR SAYS THAT THE AMOUNTS SHOWN IN HIS CERTIFICATIONS WITH HIS PAYROLL VOUCHERS WERE NOT THE TRUE AND ACTUAL AMOUNTS, BUT WERE BASED ON PURE ASSUMPTION, POOR JUDGMENT, INDIFFERENCE AND NEGLIGENCE ON HIS PART. HE ALSO SAYS THAT HE CONTRIBUTED TO HIS PARENTS AN AVERAGE MINIMUM OF $2,400 A YEAR, OR $200 A MONTH, AND THAT HIS FATHER'S OTHER INCOME CONSISTING OF "TAKE HOME" PAY AS OBTAINED BY HIM FROM HIS FATHER'S EMPLOYER AVERAGED $1,715 A YEAR, OR SLIGHTLY LESS THAN $143 A MONTH. THE DEBTOR ALSO SAYS THAT THE LIVING EXPENSES OF HIS PARENTS AVERAGED $4,020 A YEAR, OR $335 A MONTH AS SHOWN BY AN ITEMIZATION OF SUCH EXPENSES IN THE LETTER OF OCTOBER 3, 1953.

THE PAYMENT OF INCREASED ALLOWANCES TO OFFICERS WITH DEPENDENTS DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED WAS GOVERNED BY SECTIONS 5 AND 6 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942, 56 STA. 361. SECTION 4 OF THE ACT DEFINED THE TERM "DEPENDENT" AS INCLUDING "THE FATHER OR MOTHER OF THE PERSON CONCERNED PROVIDED HE OR SHE IS IN FACT DEPENDENT ON SUCH PERSON FOR HIS OR HER CHIEF SUPPORT.' THE TERM ,CHIEF SUPPORT" HAS BEEN DEFINED AS MEANING "MAIN" SUPPORT, OR "PRINCIPAL" SUPPORT, THAT IS, WHERE THE PARENT IS DEPENDENT ON THE OFFICER FOR "MOST" OR THE "GREATER" PART OF THE FUNDS NECESSARY FOR HIS OR HER SUPPORT. GEER V. UNITED STATES, 76 C.CLS. 259. IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT IT IS INCUMBENT ON OFFICER CLAIMING INCREASED ALLOWANCES ON ACCOUNT OF A DEPENDENT PARENT TO ESTABLISH THE REASONABLE AND NECESSARY LIVING EXPENSES OF THE PARENT, AND THAT THE FACT THAT AN OFFICER'S MONTHLY CONTRIBUTION IS IN EXCESS OF THE PARENT'S INDEPENDENT INCOME DOES NOT OF ITSELF ESTABLISH THAT THE PARENT IS DEPENDENT ON HIM FOR CHIEF SUPPORT. ALSO, IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT AN OFFICER MUST SHOW THAT HIS CONTRIBUTION IS REQUIRED FOR THE PARENT'S NECESSARY AND PROPER SUPPORT AND CONSTITUTES THE CHIEF PART OF SUCH SUPPORT. WHITING V. UNITED STATES, 80 C.CLS. 662; ODLIN V. UNITED STATES, 74 ID. 633, 638.

THE SELF-SERVING STATEMENTS MADE BY THE DEBTOR IN THE LETTER OF OCTOBER 3, 1953, AS TO HIS CONTRIBUTIONS, THE OTHER INCOME OF HIS FATHER, AND THE LIVING EXPENSES OF HIS PARENTS ARE NOT SUPPORTED BY ANY COMPETENT EVIDENCE, OTHER THAN THE FACT THAT OUR RECORDS SHOW THAT HE HAD AN ALLOTMENT OF $250 A MONTH TO HIS PARENTS FOR THE PERIOD FROM FEBRUARY THROUGH JULY 1949. SINCE THE FATHER HAD STEADY EMPLOYMENT DURING THE PERIOD INVOLVED, HIS EARNINGS FOR 1948 AMOUNTING TO $2,274.20 (THE DEBTOR ADMITS THAT HIS FATHER'S TAKE-HOME PAY AVERAGED $1,715 DURING THE YEARS 1947-1949), SUCH INCOME MUST BE CONSIDERED AS AVAILABLE FOR THE SUPPORT OF BOTH THE FATHER AND MOTHER. WHILE THE FORMER OFFICER CLAIMS TO HAVE CONTRIBUTED A MINIMUM OF $175 A MONTH FOR THE SUPPORT OF HIS PARENTS PRIOR TO THE TIME HE INSTITUTED THE MONTHLY ALLOTMENT OF $250, HE HAS FURNISHED NO EVIDENCE WHATEVER THAT HE MADE SUCH CONTRIBUTIONS. IN VIEW OF THE STATEMENT OF THE FATHER TO OUR INVESTIGATOR THAT HIS SON "SOMETIMES SENT HOME $100.00 AND SOMETIMES "JUST CKELS," THERE CLEARLY IS NO BASIS ON THE PRESENT RECORD TO CONCLUDE THAT THE PARENTS WERE DEPENDENT ON THE OFFICER FOR THEIR CHIEF SUPPORT OR THAT HE CONTRIBUTED AN AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF ONE HALF OF THEIR NECESSARY LIVING EXPENSES FOR THE PERIOD PRIOR TO FEBRUARY 1949.

WHILE THE OFFICER AUTHORIZED AN ALLOTMENT OF $250 A MONTH IN FAVOR OF HIS PARENTS EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 1, 1949, NO EVIDENCE HAS BEEN PRODUCED SUCH AS STATEMENTS FROM THE PARENTS OR BANK STATEMENTS SHOWING WHETHER THE PARENTS USED THE PAYMENTS FOR THEIR NECESSARY LIVING EXPENSES OR WHETHER THEY RETURNED A PORTION OR ALL OF THE AMOUNT TO THEIR SON. IF IT SHOULD BE SATISFACTORILY ESTABLISHED THAT THE ALLOTMENT PAYMENTS WERE USED BY THE PARENTS FOR THEIR LIVING EXPENSES AND THAT THEIR MONTHLY LIVING EXPENSES AMOUNTED TO APPROXIMATELY $335 AS IS NOW ALLEGED THEN IT WOULD APPEAR THAT HIS PARENTS WERE DEPENDENT UPON HIM FOR THEIR CHIEF SUPPORT FOR THE PERIOD FROM FEBRUARY 1 TO AUGUST 3, 1949. ON THAT BASIS HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO THE INCREASED ALLOWANCES PAID IN THE AMOUNT OF $881.30 FOR SUCH PERIOD WHICH WOULD THUS REDUCE HIS INDEBTEDNESS TO $1,574.20. ON THE PRESENT RECORD, HOWEVER, THERE IS NO BASIS TO CONCLUDE THAT HE WAS NOT OVERPAID IN THE AMOUNT OF $2,455.50, AS PREVIOUSLY REPORTED.

A COPY OF THIS LETTER HAS BEEN SENT TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, ATTENTION: MR. RUSSEL CHAPIN, ..END :