Back in February, we mentioned an investigation of unclaimed property held by the Philadelphia Sheriff's Office. According to Philly.com, the Sheriff's Department had not filed an unclaimed property report with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since at least 2006, despite having reported and remitted approximately $5 million during the period from 2002-2005. The majority of the unclaimed funds held by the Sheriff's office are excess proceeds from foreclosure sales and other auctions. As anyone who has been following the economy knows, the amount of foreclosures has markedly increased since 2005, and accordingly, one would expect the Sheriff's office to have even more unclaimed property arising from foreclosure sales.
According to WHYY's Newsworks blog, the authorities have now completed a multi-month audit of unclaimed funds held by the Department, and have discovered approximately $50 million in unclaimed funds that should have been reported and remitted to the City and the Commonwealth for the benefit of the rightful owners. No word on whether any civil or criminal charges will be filed in connection with the findings