We've run a few articles demonstrating that the owners of unclaimed property are often not unknown individuals with no heirs or companies long out of business. Oftentimes, the owners of unclaimed property can be found in some pretty public places: at the Oscars, patrolling the sidelines for the New England Patriots, or at the top of the American League East.
But this one takes the cake. As reported by Fox 40 News in Sacramento, California the State of California is holding funds in the unclaimed property trust fund for -- wait for it -- the State of California. On the one hand, this is pretty good news for the state. After all, California is currently facing a $19 billion (yes, with a "b") budget deficit. It does, however, raise some issues. First, and most obvious, California's efforts to reunite holders with their money (which have already been the subject of one federal court injunction) can't be particularly effective if the State can't inform itself of its own funds. Second, the property being reported is money that individuals and companies have tried to pay the State, and the State has failed or refused to accept the money (e.g., by failing to cash a check), so there is a larger bookkeeping issue somewhere. Finally, precisely why is anyone having difficultly locating the owner? Try looking here.