Crocker v. United States - 240 U.S. 74 (1916)
U.S. Supreme Court
Crocker v. United States, 240 U.S. 74 (1916)
Crocker v. United States
Argued December 1, 2, 1915
Decided January 31, 1916
240 U.S. 74
The findings of the Court of Claims in an action at law determine all matters of fact precisely as a verdict of a jury, and this Court cannot refer to the opinion for the purpose of eking out, controlling, or modifying their scope.
Secret arrangements with government officials by which they share in profits on contracts which they have a voice in awarding are most reprehensible, and vitiate the contract, justifying its rescission, even if made by those negotiating the contract on behalf of the contractor and without the actual knowledge of the latter.
No recovery can be had upon a government contract tainted with fraud and rescinded by the proper officer of the government on that ground.
The rescission of a government contract to supply articles at a specified price is not an obstacle to a recovery upon a quantum valebat if there was requisite proof of the value of the articles delivered.
Where there is fraud in obtaining the contract, the contract price of the articles cannot, for the quantum valebat, be regarded as an admission by the government of the value of the articles delivered prior to the discovery of the fraud and rescission of the contract.
The burden of proof to establish value upon a quantum valebat for articles delivered under a contract rescinded for fraud is on the claimant, and if the Court of Claims made no finding of value in that respect and stated in explanation there was complete absence of evidence, there can be no recovery. In this instance, the case will not be remanded for findings on the question of value.
49 Ct.Cl. 85 affirmed.
The facts, which involve a claim against the United States for letter carriers' satchels and the effect of fraud on the right of the contractor to recover therefor, are stated in the opinion.