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article imageMissouri woman gets $6.1 million in unclaimed property

By Leigh Goessl     Dec 15, 2011 in World
Kansas City - A Kansas City woman will receive an early Christmas gift this year in the form of a staggering $6.1 million unclaimed property payment.
Yesterday, Missouri Treasurer Clint Zweifel announced the unidentified woman will receive the money equated to the value of property she had no idea she owned.
According to St. Louis Today, the property came from a single security. Securities are items such as bonds and stocks.
Kansas City's KMBC said the security was an investment in "an obscure company" a relative of the woman made several years ago. There is no word on what that company evolved into to equate to such worth.
The Kansas City Star reported this is the largest unclaimed property on record in Missouri, and possibly U.S. history.
“It’s a huge amount of money,” the Star reported Zweifel said.
The Treasurer's Office began seeking out the owner of the unclaimed property in Sept. when the agency received the security as unclaimed property. In November they found her.
However, the rest of the world may never know who she is, as the woman has requested anonymity.
“Ultimately we have a responsibility, when we return money back to somebody, to protect their privacy and to make sure they’re not being tracked or followed by someone,” Zweifel said. “And it recognizes that this is their money.”
Reportedly when the woman found out, she asked the Treasurer's Office to sell the security and opted for a cash payment.
Tax issues for the newly minted millionairess are yet to be determined, but considering this was a total surprise, she may perhaps not mind a bit when she receives the tax bill.
Many U.S. states have established unclaimed property protocols for property that has been abandoned for five years or more. Examples of such properties include government refunds, stocks, bonds, safety deposit boxes and dormant bank accounts. If the owner cannot be located, state agencies look for heirs.
Each state generally has its own database where people can search, however there are other websites, such as the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators which offers information, linked official resources and other tips regarding unclaimed property for both Canada and the U.S. (and its territories).
The KMBC report said, according to Zweifel, "There is so much money that's out there waiting for Americans to claim," adding, "just to give you an example, in Missouri alone, I have more than $600 million on hand waiting for Missourians."
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