Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Massaschusetts Authorities Probe Attempted Unclaimed Property Theft

According to an article in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, a Massachusetts man has been indicted for attempted to wrongfully claim approximately $1.5 million in unclaimed property, by posing as the heir of a deceased doctor.  Specifically, the defendant is alleged to have presented false will, trust and unclaimed property claim forms to the Massachusetts Treasurer's Abandoned Property Division.  Division employees were apparently tipped off to the potential fraud because of a number of discrepancies in the signatures and notarization of the documents.

One question this raises is how the defendant knew that this particular deceased individual had a significant amount of unclaimed property to begin with.  The Massachusetts Abandoned Property Database, like most states' registries, does not list the amounts held for a potential claimant, precisely to prevent this type of fraud.

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