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Office of the General Counsel

Date: December 13, 1999
Matter of: [xxx]
File Number: S003598

OPM Contact: Murray M. Meeker

The claimant, an [xxx]with the [agency], requests $8,000 in back pay and unspecified damages for harm to his credit rating, for any potential adverse effect on his security clearance, and for financial stress. Our jurisdiction is limited to Federal employees' claims for compensation and leave. 31 U.S.C. 3702. Therefore, all of the claims other than the one for back pay are dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. For the reasons discussed herein, that claim is denied.

On April 6, 1995, the claimant established a payroll allotment of $250 per pay period. In compliance with the provisions of the claimant's allotment application, [xxx] deducted $250 per pay period from the claimant's salary and deposited it into a joint account that the claimant maintained with his second wife in [xxx]. The allotment continued until the claimant resigned from [xxx] in September 1995.

In August 1996, [xxx] rehired the claimant and he applied for a second allotment. The claimant specified in his new allotment application that $250 per pay period be sent to the Family Support Division, Office of the District Attorney, in [xxx] for the support of children from his first marriage. However, instead of sending $250 per pay period to the Family Support Division in [xxx], [xxx] erroneously deposited $250 per pay period into the joint bank account in [xxx]. In February 1997, the claimant obtained a divorce from his second wife.

In December 1997, the claimant advised [xxx] of the error and requested reimbursement for the $8,000 that had been erroneously deposited in the joint account from September 1996 to December 1997.(1) [xxx] declined to reimburse the claimant.

The basis for [xxx] decision not to reimburse the claimant was that because the moneys had been deposited into an account held jointly by the claimant and his second former spouse, the claimant had the right to access these amounts. The claimant has failed to come forward with documentation or other evidence to refute [xxx] determination that he had access to the erroneously deposited amounts. The claimant has also failed to establish that he was not notified as a joint account holder of the erroneous deposits. Assuming that the claimant was sent statements or notices concerning the erroneous deposits, it was incumbent upon him to timely advise [xxx]. See 63 Comp. Gen. 351 (1984) (employee must take steps to cancel an erroneous pay action) and Philip W. McNany, B-198770, November 13, 1980.

Accordingly, the claim is denied. This settlement is final. No further administrative review is available within OPM. Nothing in this settlement limits the employee's right to bring an action in an appropriate United States Court.

1. 1 While [xxx] attempted to recoup the $8,000 from the claimant's second spouse, the claimant's second spouse denied [xxx] request. In addition, [xxx] has been advised by the United States Attorney's Office in [xxx] that the claimant's second spouse's financial status made it unlikely that [xxx] would ever be able to recover the money from her.

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