BOSTON (CBS) – Certified Public Accountant David Asadoorian routinely checks the Find Mass Money website on behalf of clients.
“It just dawned on me that maybe I’ll give it a shot to check Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” Asadoorian said. “And it came up and it said there were 1,000 unclaimed items belonging to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”
Make that 9,838 items according to figures provided by the State Treasury. The list includes checks cut to the state by utility companies like Bay State Gas and Verizon, big corporations like General Electric and Walmart, life insurance companies, hospitals, and even other states covering a wide range of debts and refunds.
The total amount going unclaimed by dozens of state agencies and departments: More than $6,625,000.
“Chances are they don’t know that the money’s sitting with us,” said Assistant State Treasurer Mark Bracken, the official overseeing the unclaimed money list. He says some state offices reach out to try to keep track of their unclaimed funds, while others do not.
“We have some agencies that come forward every year and we do a sweep of our database and they claim any property, and then we have other agencies that we’ve never heard from,” said Bracken.
Color this CPA unimpressed. “Collecting the funds is a key part of operating any business. If this were happening in the private sector steps would be taken to correct these issues,” Asadoorian said.
“We need to do a better job,” said State Rep. Keiko Orrall, the GOP candidate for Treasurer. She sees incompetence at play.
“The Treasury themselves has money owed to themselves and they’re not even collecting that,” Orrall says. “That is astonishing.”