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May 21, 2007


Comptroller Cooperation:
DiNapoli Delivers $180,000 to Sawicki and Levy

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today presented a check for $180,654 to Suffolk County Comptroller Joseph Sawicki and Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy for unclaimed funds held in the county’s name. Under state law, insurance companies, utilities, investment companies and many other businesses are required to surrender money in inactive accounts to the state. DiNapoli’s office administers the state’s unclaimed funds.

“Working with County Comptroller Sawicki, we found more than $180,000 that belongs to Suffolk County, and today, we’re giving it back,” DiNapoli said. “This is money that belongs to the county taxpayers. It should be used to support county services or reduce taxes.”

“By working with State Comptroller DiNapoli we were able to identify and collect over $180,000 due back to Suffolk taxpayers,” said Sawicki. “This is a perfect illustration of how taxpayers benefit when the State and County Comptrollers’ offices join forces.”

County Executive Steve Levy praised the cooperation between DiNapoli and Sawicki.

“This collaboration between State Comptroller DiNapoli and County Comptroller Sawicki is precisely the type of effort we need from every public official at every level of government,” said Levy. “Our philosophy is that there is no savings too small when you are safeguarding the taxpayers’ money. This is $180,000 of taxpayers’ dollars that but for the work of Comptrollers DiNapoli and Sawicki would have remained in limbo to the benefit of no one.”

DiNapoli, who took office in February, also said he had directed his staff to step up efforts to identify unclaimed accounts of local governments around the state.

“We’re going to keep digging,” DiNapoli said. “And whenever we find a local government account that has gone unclaimed, we’re going to work to get that money back where it belongs.”

New York’s unclaimed funds total more than $8 billion in more than 22 million accounts. Most of the accounts are held by individuals who, DiNapoli noted, can search for funds in their names online or by calling (800) 221-9311 or (518) 270-2200.

“Every New Yorker should visit our website to find out if we’re holding money that belongs to them,” DiNapoli said. “And every New Yorker should keep track of their accounts to make sure they don’t go unclaimed in the first place.”

DiNapoli also stressed that there is no fee involved in claiming unclaimed funds, and that companies that offer to help individuals find unclaimed funds do not have any faster or better access to the funds held by the Office of the State Comptroller.

Click here for additional information on unclaimed funds in New York State.



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