Charles Richmond (plaintiff) sought advice from a federal employee of the Navy regarding the statutory limit on earnings that would disqualify him from a disability annuity. As a result of erroneous information that this employee provided, Richmond earned more than permitted by statutory eligibility requirements and the Office of Personnel Management (defendant) denied him six months of benefits. Arguing that the employee’s erroneous and unauthorized advice should give rise to equitable estoppel against the United States Government, Richmond sought payment of benefits contrary to the statutory terms. The court of appeals agreed with Richmond, holding that he was entitled to the payment of the disability benefits. The case was brought before the United States Supreme Court.