The Unclaimed Funds Of The Rich And Famous

by
LoveLife
From Angelina to Zsa Zsa, Steven Jobs to Sergey Brin, the chairman of the Fed to the CEO of Goldman Sachs, the famous and the rich share a common failing with the rest of us: they've misplaced some of their money.

From Angelina to Zsa Zsa, Steven Jobs to Sergey Brin, the chairman of the Fed to the CEO of Goldman Sachs, the famous and the rich share a common failing with the rest of us: they've misplaced some of their money.

Nationwide the pool of unclaimed property held by states is close to $33 billion and growing.

A MarketWatch review of some of the major unclaimed property sites maintained by the states revealed some surprising names and organizations that have unclaimed property.

For instance:

The state of New Jersey is holding an "unknown" amount for Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, tied to his last known address there. In addition a "Ben S. Bernanke, Stanford" is owed $72 reported to California by American Express Company. Bernanke taught at Stanford in the 1980s and at Princeton in the 1990s.

Actress Angelina Jolie is owed $659.01 in salaries and wages reported to the state of California by The Walt Disney Company & Affiliates.

Brad Pitt of Malibu is owed $5,000, reported to California by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Johnny Depp is owed $2,159.06, reported by Porsche Cars North America Inc.

Zsa Zsa Gabor is owed $129.35, reported by Warner Bros. Film and Entertainment.

Singers are well represented in the unclaimed property lists as well:

California is holding more than $6,000 for Stevie Wonder.

Aretha Franklin has more than $9,000 with the state.

Mick Jagger is owed nearly $1,000.

Justin Timberlake is owed $3,020.55 in wages, payroll and salary reported by Talent Partners Commercial Services and an additional $523.35 reported by General Electric.

Elvis is not owed money, so far as could be determined. But Elvis Presley Enterprises has more than $100 waiting for it with the state of Tennessee.

Media figures are in the mix, too.

"Daily Show" host Jon Stewart has several listings on New York's unclaimed property site including at least one with a last known address: "C/O The Daily Show 513 West 54th Street, New York, NY."

The "Daily Show" itself is also owed money, reported to the state by Sprint United Management in 2009.

Matt Drudge, of the eponymous website, is owed more than $1,500 which is being held by California.

And two listings worth more than $100 each are waiting for Rush Limbaugh in Florida.

Then there are the moguls.

Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG- News), apparently never got around to cashing a bunch of paychecks from Stanford University, as well as a $9 dividend check from New York Times Co., leaving California with more than $2,000 to use in perpetuity.

Steve Jobs has $590 waiting for him, including $37.91 handed over to the state of California by a company called Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL- News).

Soros Fund Management, billionaire investor George Soros' investment vehicle, pops up on New York's site, with a couple of items listed as outstanding checks issued by Washington Post Company.

And Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS- News), also appears on New York's unclaimed list in an item identified as "mutual funds/dividend reinvest book shrs" reported to the state by Dreyfus Liquid Assets Inc. in 1993.

Among the political classes:

Rudolph Giuliani, whose last known addresses include Gracie Mansion, New York, has several listings with the state of New York.

Former New York governor Eliot Spitzer shows up as well with an uncashed check reported to the state by the New York State Comptroller's office in 2004.

And former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul have $1,220.68 in court settlements waiting for them with the state of California.

Both major political parties have dozens of listings under their names as well.

It's not just individuals who lose track.

Government agencies from the Federal Reserve to the IRS to the Central Intelligence Agency have funds sitting on states' books. In California alone, more than 500 hits appear for Internal Revenue Service. The items include: $7,316.11, reported by Bank of America -- California North; $8,017 reported by Rabobank N.A.; and $7,889, reported by Alcatel USA Marketing.

California State Controller John Chiang's office has staff dedicated to working with other government agencies to return their funds. Those that routinely generate a lot of hits, such as the IRS, generally file claims in batches to save on paperwork. But the rules of escheatment do require that the owner file to have their property returned. The state can't simply send it back.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the items for the CIA that appear on missingmoney.com include only "undisclosed" addresses in Herndon and McLean, Va. and were reported by "not disclosed." The amounts are also "unknown."

Foreign consular offices from Russia, China, India and other countries appear frequently as well.

Then there's local government.

In New York a search for "parking violation" turns up 90 hits for unclaimed property owned by the city's Parking Violations Bureau. No dollar amounts are attached, but some of the reports were filed with the state as long ago as the 1980s.

Vallejo, Calif., which went bankrupt in 2008 as the real estate bubble crashed, pops up with six matches on the state of California unclaimed property site, including one for $10,000 listed as an individual benefit or claim payment reported by American International Ins.

Beyond the city government itself, thousands of hits appear for businesses and individuals with last-known addresses in the struggling California city.

Charities and other non-profit organizations also appear on the unclaimed funds lists.

The American Red Cross relies on volunteer help to search the sites and seek the return of funds, according to Christi Harlan, a spokeswoman for the agency. In the last five years $360,000 has been recovered. Those efforts are complicated by the number of Red Cross chapters -- there are 640 -- and the fact that the agency works in chaotic disaster situations. "We are very appreciative of our donors and try to make sure every dollar gets where it's supposed to be," Harlan said "The current balance in unclaimed funds is a miniscule fraction of the millions we collect every year."

Other groups such as the Girl Scouts, the United Way, World Wildlife Fund, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and American Cancer Society also pop up on the state web sites.

More than a dozen payments to the "Betty Ford Center" have gone astray and wound up in California's custody, including one for $3,533.83.

Employee unions are also well represented. Type in SEIU or AFSCME or UAW, and dozens of entries will appear, some tied to specific locals, others simply to the umbrella union organization.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have around $20,000 sitting with the state of California. The team had no comment when told about it. The San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees, New York Mets and other teams also appear.

Then there's Wall Street.

Most of the big names from the credit crisis appear.

"Bear Stearns" generates more than 800 hits on the New York state Comptroller's site. The reportees include Goldman Sachs, Lehman Bros., and the states of Illinois, Arizona, New Jersey. Some of the items appear to date from the mid-1990s and some appear to be custodial accounts.

Lehman Brothers generates 17 hits in New York.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac is identified as the owner of nearly $20,000 in unclaimed property with the state of California, including one item for $13,125.00 in credit balances which were handed over to the state of California by Countrywide Securities. Freddie Mac generates 57 matches on the missingmoney.com site.

Sibling Fannie Mae pops up more than a dozen times in New York.

And in collapses from an earlier era, Enron and Tyco International still generate unclaimed funds hits.

By: Tom Bemis

Yahoo Finance