B-212333, NOV 21, 1983, OFFICE OF GENERAL COUNSEL

B-212333: Nov 21, 1983

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THE REQUESTED RELIEF IS GRANTED. THE CHECK WAS RETURNED ON JULY 13. A SUBSEQUENT INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT THE NAME "MIKE ROTH" WAS AN ALIAS USED BY PV2 MARK D. PV2 BLOCK WAS DROPPED FROM THE U.S. THE LOSS OF FUNDS WHICH RESULTED FROM THE NEGOTIATION OF THE FRAUDULENT CHECK WAS REFLECTED ON MAJOR PLAYER'S STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTABILITY FOR JULY 1981. IS LIABLE FOR IMPROPER PAYMENTS MADE UNDER HIS SUPERVISION. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE IMPROPER PAYMENT AT ISSUE WAS THE RESULT OF A RATHER COMPLEX SCHEME OF FRAUD. THERE BEING NO INDICATION THAT THE IMPROPER PAYMENT WAS A PROXIMATE RESULT OF BAD FAITH OR LACK OF REASONABLE CARE ON HIS PART. RELIEF IS GRANTED TO MAJOR PLAYER. IT IS NOTED THAT EFFORTS TO LOCATE AND DETAIN PV2 BLOCK HAVE.

B-212333, NOV 21, 1983, OFFICE OF GENERAL COUNSEL

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

MR. CLYDE E. JEFFCOAT, PRINCIPAL DEPUTY COMMANDER:

THIS RESPONDS TO A REQUEST FROM YOUR OFFICE THAT RELIEF BE GRANTED, PURSUANT TO 31 U.S.C. SEC. 3527(C), FOR THE IMPROPER PAYMENT OF $450, CHARGEABLE TO THE ACCOUNTS OF MAJOR H. L. PLAYER, FINANCE CORPS, SYMBOL NUMBER 5460, FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING OFFICER, 45TH FINANCE SECTION, APO NEW YORK. FOR THE REASONS DISCUSSED HEREIN, THE REQUESTED RELIEF IS GRANTED.

THE IMPROPER PAYMENT INVOLVED A PERSONAL CHECK, DATED JUNE 30, 1981, DRAWN ON AN ACCOUNT IN THE NAME OF E-6 MIKE ROTH. THE CHECK WAS RETURNED ON JULY 13, 1981 DUE TO INSUFFICIENT FUNDS. ACCORDING TO THE RECORD, A SUBSEQUENT INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT THE NAME "MIKE ROTH" WAS AN ALIAS USED BY PV2 MARK D. BLOCK TO PERPETUATE A FRAUD INVOLVING THIS AND OTHER PERSONAL CHECKS. FOLLOWING THE DISCOVERY OF THIS SCHEME, PV2 BLOCK FLED THE AREA IN WHICH HE HAD BEEN STATIONED. EFFORTS TO LOCATE HIM HAVING BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL, PV2 BLOCK WAS DROPPED FROM THE U.S. ARMY ACTIVE DUTY ROLLS AS A DESERTER ON SEPTEMBER 5, 1981. THE LOSS OF FUNDS WHICH RESULTED FROM THE NEGOTIATION OF THE FRAUDULENT CHECK WAS REFLECTED ON MAJOR PLAYER'S STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTABILITY FOR JULY 1981.

A DISBURSING OFFICER, SUCH AS MAJOR PLAYER, IS LIABLE FOR IMPROPER PAYMENTS MADE UNDER HIS SUPERVISION. B-194877, JULY 12, 1979. RELIEF MAY BE GRANTED BY THIS OFFICE UNDER 31 U.S.C. SEC. 3526(C) UPON A SHOWING THAT THE IMPROPER PAYMENT DID NOT RESULT FROM BAD FAITH OR A LACK OF DUE CARE ON THE PART OF THE OFFICIAL.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE IMPROPER PAYMENT AT ISSUE WAS THE RESULT OF A RATHER COMPLEX SCHEME OF FRAUD, APPARENTLY INVOLVING PV2 BLOCK AND AT LEAST ONE OTHER MEMBER OF THE U.S. ARMY. THIS SCHEME INCLUDED THE THEFT OF ACTIVE DUTY IDENTIFICATION CARDS AND THE CREATION OF BANK ACCOUNTS IN THE NAMES OF FICTITIOUS INDIVIDUALS. IN SUM, IT APPEARS THAT THE IMPROPER PAYMENT OCCURRED AS THE PROXIMATE RESULT OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES OVER WHICH MAJOR PLAYER HAD NO CONTROL. SEE B-192558, DECEMBER 7, 1978. THERE BEING NO INDICATION THAT THE IMPROPER PAYMENT WAS A PROXIMATE RESULT OF BAD FAITH OR LACK OF REASONABLE CARE ON HIS PART, RELIEF IS GRANTED TO MAJOR PLAYER, AS REQUESTED, UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF 31 U.S.C. SEC. 3527(C) (1982).

IT IS NOTED THAT EFFORTS TO LOCATE AND DETAIN PV2 BLOCK HAVE, THUS FAR, BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL. AS AN UNENTITLED RECIPIENT OF GOVERNMENT FUNDS, PV2 BLOCK REMAINS, OF COURSE, LIABLE FOR THE $450 PAYMENT. 62 COMP.GEN. 91 (1982).

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