Millions in unclaimed funds turned over to the state

Seven On Your Side
April 5, 2013 2:57:29 PM PDT
Every year, millions in unclaimed funds are turned over to the state, but first, companies are supposed to try and distribute money to its rightful owner or heirs.

A Staten Island family learned last year that their son and brother had never cashed a paycheck from 2004. They felt powerless against the power company holding the money.

It was a waiting game that had went on for a half a year. This wasn't anything the family went looking for. They were informed, out of the blue that the money had been sitting around for almost a decade. Collecting it seemed simple, but then turned into a real headache when they say the other side went silent.

Mildred Carmona's brother was working for Keyspan Power Company as a gas meter reader when he passed away.

"My brother worked for them, and this is how to treat an employee, and this was terrible," said Mildred, "it's been almost eight years now, you know."

All the grief of losing one of her six siblings came back when she got a letter in the mail saying that the company's records indicated she had not cashed a payroll check previously issued by Keyspan, now known as National Grid.

But all the grief of losing one of her 6 siblings, came back, when she got this letter in the mail..

Luis Rivera had left an uncashed paycheck behind, but his family was instructed to claim the $2,365 right away, before the money was turned over to the state.

Mildred and her mother did their part, and sent in all the required and notorized paperwork to the contact person in National Grid's accounting department, but they did nothing.

"Never got back to me, all the calls I left ? never responded," said Mildred, "never responded to any of my letters either."

Luis, a Vietnam Veteran worked for Keyspan for over 30 years. His family is about to move to Florida, yet couldn't collect on the uncashed paycheck.

Mildred put Eyewitness News on the case, and 7 on your Side contacted National Grid. Almost instantly, Mildred got the phone call she was waiting for, saying that the wire transfer hit her account this morning.

$2726.83 was put in her account. National Grid even added interest, and paid the bank transfer fee.

National Grid apologized for the inconvenience, and said the situation was unusual because the check got caught up in transition to an office system that consolidated payroll, accounting and human resources.