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or demand against the United States, whether the same has or has not already been so used or presented, and whether such claim, account, or demand, or any part thereof, has or has not already been allowed or paid, or who presents or uses or attempts to use any such document, record, file, or paper so taken and carried away in order to procure the payment of any money from or by the United States, or any officer or agent thereof, or the allowance or payment of the whole or any part of any claim, account, or demand against the United States, shall be imprisoned at hard labor not more than ten years, or fined not more than five thousand dollars.
Robbery or larceny of personal property of the United States; penalty.
SEC. 5456. Every person who robs another of any kind or description of personal property belonging to the United States, or feloniously takes and carries away the same, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars, or by imprisonment at hard labor not less than one nor more than ten years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
Embezzling or stealing public property or receiving and retaining in possession property stolen;
penalty. SEC. 1, act of March 3, 1875 (18, Stat., 479). That any person who shall embezzle, steal, or purloin any money, property, record, voucher, or valuable thing whatever, of the moneys, goods, chattels, records, or property of the United States, shall be deemed guilty of felony, and on conviction thereof before the district or circuit court of the United States in the district wherein said offense may have been committed, or into which he shall carry or have in possession (of) said property so embezzled, stolen, or purloined, shall be punished therefor by impris. onment at hard labor in the penitentiary not exceeding five years, or by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars, or both, at the discretion of the court before which he shall be convicted.
SEC. 2. That if any person shall receive, conceal, or aid in concealing, or have, or retain in his possession with intent to convert to his own use or gain, any money, property, record, voucher, or valuable thing whatever, of the moneys, goods, chattels, records, or property of the United States, which has theretofore been embezzled, stolen, or purloined from the United States by any other person, knowing the same to have been so embezzled, stolen, or purloined, such person shall, on conviction before the circuit or district court of the United States in the district wherein he may have such property, be punished by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars, or imprisonment at hard labor in the penitentiary not exceeding five years, one or both, at the discretion of the court before which he shall be convicted; and such receiver may be tried either before or after the conviction of the principal felon, but if the party has been convicted, then the judgment against him shall be conclusive evidence in the prosecution against such receiver that the property of the United States therein described has been embezzled, stolen or purloined.
Forging, counterfeiting, etc., bid, bond, public record, etc.; penalty.
SEO. 5418. Every person who falsely makes, alters, forges, or counterfeits any bid, proposal, guarantee, official bond, public record, affidavit, or other writing, for the purpose of defrauding the United States, or utters or publishes as true any such false, forged, altered, or coun. terfeited bid, proposal, guarantee, official bond, public record, affidavit, or other writing, for such purpose, knowing the same to be false, forged, altered, or counterfeited, or transmits to or presents at the office of any officer of the United States any such false, forged, altered or counterfeited bid, proposal, guarantee, official bond, public record, affidavit, or other writing, knowing the same to be false, forged, altered, or counterfeited, for such purpose, shall be imprisoned at hard labor for a period not more than ten years, or be fined not more than one thousand dollars, or be punished by both such fine and imprisonment.
Falsely making, forging, or counterfeiting public records, etc.; penalty.
SEC. 5479. If any person shall falsely make, alter, forge, or counterfeit, or cause or procure to be falsely made, altered, forged, or counterfeited, or willingly aid, or assist in the false making, altering, forging, or counterfeiting, any bond, bid, proposal, guarantee, security, official bond, public record, affidavit, or other writing for the purpose of defrauding the United States; or shall utter or publish as true, or cause to be uttered or published as true, any such false, forged, altered, or counterfeited bond, bid, proposal, guarantee, security, official bond, public record, affidavit, or other writing, for the purpose of defrauding the United States, knowing the same to be false, forged, altered, or counterfeited; or shall transmit to, or present at, or cause or procure to be transmitted to, or presented at the office of any officer of the United States, any such false, forged, altered, or counterfeited bond, bid, proposal, guarantee, security, official bond, public record, affidavit, or other writing, knowing the same to be false, forged, altered, or counterfeited, for the purpose of defrauding the United States, shall be punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or by imprisonment at hard labor for not more than ten years, or by both such punishments.
Counterfeiting United States securities and stamps; penalty.
SEC. 5414. Every person who, with intent to defraud, falsely makes, forges, counterfeits, or alters any obligation or security of the United States shall be punished by a fine of not more than tive thousand dollars and by imprisonment at hard labor not more than fifteen years.
SEC. 5413. The words "obligation or other security of the United States” shall be held to mean all
stamps and other representatives, of value, of whatever denomination, which have been or may be issued under any act of Congress.
See also sections 5430, 5431,5432, 5433, 5434. Counterfeit money, act of February 10, 1891. (United States v. Kuhl (1898), 85 Fed. Rep., 624.)
Making or presenting false, fictitious, or fraudulent claims; penalty.
SEC. 5438. Every person who makes or causes to be made, or presents or causes to be presented, for payment or approval, to or by any person or officer in the civil, military, or naval service of the United States, any claim upon or against the Government of the United States, or any department or officer thereof, knowing such claim to be false, fictitious, or fraudulent, or who, for the purpose of obtaining or aiding to obtain the payment or approval of such claim, makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, any false bill, receipt, voucher, roll, account, claim, certificate, affidavit, or deposition, knowing the same to contain any
fraudulent or fictitious statement or entry, or who enters into any agreement, combination, or conspiracy to defraud the Government of the United States, or any department or officer thereof, by obtaining or aiding to obtain the payment or allowance of any false or fraudulent claim, or who, having charge, possession, custody, or control of any money or other public property used or to be used in the military or naval service, who, with intent to defraud the United States or will. fully to conceal such money or other property, delivers or causes to be delivered, to any other person having authority to receive the same, any amount of such money or other property less than that for which he received a certificate or took a receipt, and every person authorized to make or deliver any certificate, voucher, receipt, or other paper certifying the receipt of arms, ammunition, provisions, clothing, or other property so used or to be used, who makes or delivers the same to any other person without a full knowledge of the truth of the facts stated therein, and with intent to defraud the United States, and every person who knowingly purchases or receives in pledge for any obligation or indebtedness from any soldier, officer, sailor, or other person called into or employed in the military or naval service any arms, equipments, ammunition, clothes, military stores, or other public property, such soldier, sailor, officer, or other person not having the lawful right to pledge or sell the same, every person so offending in any of the matters set forth in this section shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than one nor more than five years, or fined not less than one thousand nor more than five thousand dollars.
CLAIMS-PAYMENT TO PERSON IN ARREARS-SET.OFFS-CREDITS-PRIORITY OF
GOVERNMENT-APPROPRIATIONS-ATTORNEYS BEFORE DEPARTMENTS-DUPLI. CATE OHEOKS-PENALTY ENVELOPES-TELEGRAMS-DISPOSITION OF USELESS PAPER, ETO.
Claims to be adjusted in the Treasury Department.
SEC. 236. All claims and demands whatever by the United States or against them, and all accounts whatever in which the United States are concerned either as debtors or as creditors, shall be settled and adjusted in the Department of the Treasury.
The doctrine that the United States can not be sued without its consent examined and reaffirmed. (United States r. Lee, 106 U. S., 196; 29 Int. Rev. Rec., 1.)
A court of claims was created by the act of February 24, 1855 (1049). Cases arising under the revenue laws not within the jurisdiction of the Court of Claims. (Nichols v. United States, 7 Wall., 129.)
The act of March 3, 1887 (24 Stat., 505), provides for bringing suits against the Government, giving district and circuit courts concurrent jurisdiction with Court of Claims. (United States v. Jones, 131 U. S., 1.)
The act of March 3, 1883 (22 Stat., 485), “An act to afford assistance and relief to Congress and the Executive Departments in the investigation of claims and demands against the Government,” called the “Bowman Act," provides that claims involving controverted questions of fact or law pending in any of the Executive Departments may be transmitted to the Court of Claims. (McClure v. United States, 19 Ct. Clms., 18; Smith v. United States, 19 ibid., 691.)
Section 1063, as to head of Department transmitting claims to the Court of
Secretary can not legally by departmental order change a practice or course
Any claim made against an Executive Department “involving disputed facts or controverted questions of law, where the amount in controversy exceeds three thousand dollars, or where the decision will affect a class of cases, or furnish a precedent for the future action of any Executive Department in the adjustment of a class of cases, without regard to the amount involved in the particular case, or where any authority, right, privilege, or exemption is claimed or denied under the Constitution of the United States," may be transmitted to the Court of Claims by the head of such Department under Revised Statutes, section 1063, for final adjudication, provided such claim be not barred by limitation and be one of which, by reason of its subject matter and character, that court could take judicial cognizance at the voluntary suit of the claimant.
Any claim embraced by section 1063, without regard to its amount, and whether the claimant consents or not, may be transinitted under the act of March 3, 1883, to the Court of Claims by the head of the Executive Department in which it is pending for a report to such Department of facts and conclusions of law for “ its guidance and action."
Any claim embraced by that section may, in the discretion of the Executive Department in which it is pending and with the expressed consent of the plaintiff, be transmitted to the Court of Claims, under the act of March 3, 1887, without regard to the amount involved, for a report, merely advisory in its character, of facts or constructions of law,' (United States v. New York (1896), 160 U. S., 598.)
The rule that a final decision upon a knowledge of all the facts made by an officer authorized to decide on claims against the Government is not liable to be reopened and reviewed by his successor in office unless the decision is founded on mistakes in matters of fact arising from errors in calculation, or the absence of material testimony afterwards discovered and produced, is well established.
Attorney-General Taney said: “For if a final decision, upon a knowledge of all the facts, made by an officer authorized to decide on claims against the Government, is liable to be opened and reviewed by his successor in office, every change in the officer will produce a new hearing of the claim, and the accounts of the Government will always remain open and unsettled.” (2 Op. Atty. Gen., 464; see also 14 Op. Atty. Gen., 275; 18 Int. Rev. Rec., 28, and cases there cited; also 13 Op. Atty. Gen., 388, 457.)
No subsequent decision upon a doubtful or controverted question of law, essentially modifying a prevailing rule which was applied to the settlement of an account, would authorize the reopening of it, with a view to a readjustment of it in accordance with such decision. (12 Op. Atty. Gen., 388.)
A decision in the Court of Claims, while it is not binding, is authority for the head of a Department to reopen a case. (9 Op. Atty. Gen. (Black), 422.)
The accounting officers of the Treasury are not authorized to reopen accounts for the purpose of correcting decisions upon questions of law subsequently held to be erroneous. (VI Comp. Dec., 91.)
Not the duty of a head of Department to make estimates for appropriations to pay claims which the law does not provide for. (Pitman et al. v. United States, 20 Ct. Clms., 253.)
Accounting officers can pot revise judgments of court. (O'Grady v. United States, 22 Wall., 641.)
Subpanas to witnesses in matters relating to claims.
SEC. 184. Any head of a Department or Bureau in which a claim against the United States is properly pending may apply to any judge or clerk of any court of the United States, in any State, District, or Territory, to issue a subpæna for a witness being within the jurisdiction of such court, to appear at a time and place in the subpæna stated, before any officer authorized to take depositions to be used in the courts of the United States, there to give full and true answers to such written interrogatories and cross-interrogatories as may be submitted with the application, or to be orally examined and crossexamined upon the subject of such claim.
No payment to person in arrears to the United States.
SEC. 1766. No money shall be paid to any person for his compensation who is in arrears to the United States, until he has accounted for and paid into the Treasury all sums for which he may be liable. In all cases where the pay or salary of any person is with held in pursuance of this section, the accounting officers of the Treasury, if required to do so by the party, his agent or attorney, shall report forthwith to the Solicitor of the Treasury the balance due; and the Solicitor shall, within sixty days thereafter, order suit to be commenced against such delinquent and his sureties.
Set-offs. (Bonnafon's case, 14 Ct. Clms., 484; Taggart's case, 17 Ct. Clms., 322; 28 Int. Rev. Rec., 162; 17 Op. Atty. Gen., 677.)
Money offered in compromise can not be set off against taxes assessed. (Boughton v. United States, 13 Ct. Clms., 284.)
Money due to an employee of the Government, and in the hands of a disbursing officer, can not be attached by a process issued from a State court. (10 Op. Atty. Gen., 120.)
Deduction of debt due the United States from any judgment recovered or claim allowed.
Act of March 3, 1875 (18 Stat., 481). That when any final judgment recovered against the United States or other claim duly allowed by legal authority, shall be presented to the Secretary of the Treasury for payment, and the plaintiff or claimant therein shall be indebted to the United States in any manner, whether as principal or surety, it shall be the duty of the Secretary to withhold payment of an amount of such judgment or claim equal to the debt thus due to the United States; and if such plaintiff or claimant assents to such set-off, and discharges his judgment or an amount thereof equal to said debt or claim, the Secretary shall execute a discharge of the debt due from the plaintiff to the United States.
But if such plaintiff, or claimant, denies his indebtedness to the United States, or refuses to consent to the set-off, then the Secretary shall withhold payment of such further amount of such judgment, or claim, as in his opinion will be sufficient to cover all legal charges and costs in prosecuting the debt of the United States to final judgment.
And if such debt is not already in suit, it shall be the duty of the Secretary to cause legal proceedings to be immediately commenced to enforce the same, and to cause tho same to be prosecuted to final judg. ment with all reasonable dispatch.
And if in such action judgment shall be rendered against the United States, or the amount recovered for debt and costs shall be less than the amount so withheld as bcfore provided, the balance shall then be paid over to such plaintiff by such Secretary with six per cent interest thereon for the time it has been withheld from the plaintiff.
As to interest, see Stephani's case (26 Int. Rev. Rec., 314), and section 966,
Suits of United States against individuals; what credits allowed. SEC. 951. In suits brought by the United States against individuals, no claim for a credit shall be admitted, upon trial, except such as appear to have been presented to the accounting officers of the Treasury, for their examination, and to have been by them disallowed, in whole or in part, unless it is proved to the satisfaction of the court that the defendant is, at the time of the trial, in possession of vouchers not