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The Defense Commisssary Agency announced Friday that it will accept outstanding CertifiCheck gift certificates through July 31.

Officials said the decision was the result of a plan approved by the Department of Defense that will allow DeCA to absorb the losses incurred from honoring the certificates under a working capital fund.

CertifiChecks Inc., the Dayton, Ohio, company that has issued the gift checks since 2002, announced on its Web site on Feb. 26 that it had ceased operations and was filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Since then, DeCA had been working with DOD officials to settle on legal recourse for its customers left holding the unredeemable CertifiChecks, according to a DeCA release announcing the decision.

"We have been deeply concerned about how this situation has impacted our customers worldwide, and we’re happy that we’ve been able to find a solution," Philip E. Sakowitz Jr., DeCA director and chief executive officer, said in the release.

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service and Navy Exchange previously had announced that they would accept the certificates. DeCA had advised its customers to hold on to the cards until a decision on redeeming them was reached.

Since 2002, more than $20 million in gift certificates have been purchased for authorized customers, including more than $3.9 million in fiscal 2008, according to DeCA.

CertifiChecks gave no explanation when it closed, and its corporate telephone line leads to a recorded message with a mailing address for customers seeking "potential" reimbursement.

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