Most states have laws that require holders of “unclaimed” or “abandoned” property to turn over that property to the state after some period of time (the “dormancy” period), generally, after three to five years. Examples include banks holding depositor accounts that have been “inactive” for several years; money-transfer companies holding undeliverable or unclaimed funds; utility companies holding abandoned deposits; retail operations with balances on unredeemed gift cards; credit card companies with dormant accounts with credit balances; title companies holding unclaimed funds in escrow; and life insurance companies holding on to unclaimed death benefits. When companies holding unclaimed or abandoned property fail to escheat that property to the state, or delay remitting funds to the state, and do not pay interest or penalties for the late turnover, False Claims Act liability can be triggered.
If you have knowledge and solid evidence of holders’ failures to escheat unclaimed property, or to pay penalties or interest for late escheats, please contact our Chicago whistleblower lawyers. Consultations are and confidential.