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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    In heels

    State of California has a $28 check waiting for Jesus Christ

    With proof of identity, Jesus Christ can collect a $28 check from the state of California. Mick Jagger is eligible for $919. Maria Shriver can pocket $258 in mystery loot. And Ben Affleck has a $1,598 bonanza awaiting pickup.

    These and other celebrities are on a list of 6 million "lost" Californians who qualify for a cut of the $3.9 billion held by the state's bureau of unclaimed property.

    When a company owes someone money but can't find them or when a bank account lies untouched for three years and the owner can't be reached the funds must be turned over to the state's unclaimed property division. The cash then stays in government coffers unless a claim is made by the owner or the heirs.

    Think of it as a giant lost-and-found department, except the story of how this money wound up "lost" sometimes involves mind-boggling bureaucratic incompetence.

    It's one thing to lose track of an average citizen who moves and leaves no forwarding address. But how hard is it to hunt down Sen. Dianne Feinstein, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, Disneyland or the Archdiocese of Los Angeles? They haven't changed addresses in years, yet all are on the list of people and organizations whose money has been transferred or escheated to the state after they were declared "missing."

    Consider the case of billionaire developer Eli Broad. He never received a $3 check from one of his own companies, Broad Inc., because the firm apparently had no inkling of his whereabouts. The money is now being held by the state, waiting to be claimed.

    Another baffling case is a $5,953 payment that was intended for the Los Angeles Times but instead went to the state's unclaimed property bureau after the sender was unable to locate the newspaper. Who was the sender? The Tribune Co., which owns The Times.

    "One of the questions that always gets asked around here is 'How does this happen?' " says Paul Hefner, a spokesman for state Controller Steve Westly, whose office oversees unclaimed property. "It's usually something of a mystery."

    California isn't the only state with MIA celebrities. Arkansas' unclaimed property roster includes Hillary and Chelsea Clinton. And New York can't seem to find talk-show host Regis Philbin, football legend Joe Namath or the Trump Taj Mahal casino (hint: try Atlantic City).

    Part of the problem is that state laws don't offer many incentives for reuniting people with their lost money.

    In California, for instance, banks and other institutions must make a "reasonable effort" to find a customer before relinquishing property to the state. But there's no penalty if the "reasonable effort" never happens.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    If the State of California can't find Maria Shriver, they've got some serious problems. Can't they just check the Governor's mansion?????

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    I got a letter once from the State of Ohio saying it had 50 some dollars for me in its unclaimed files. The trouble I"d have to have gone through to claim it just wasn't worth it to me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    At the Beach and in our hearts
    The State of CA actually owe's me about $600.00......but I've never claimed it. Started to.........thanks for bringing this up! LOL.......It was money that was owed my husband who died 22 years ago. I'd better hurry, wonder if there is a time limit!

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