A billion dollars in unclaimed property has been returned to its rightful owners in the last five years, Treasurer Michael Frerichs said Wednesday.
The amount set a record for any five-year period in the program’s 58-year history.
“We made unclaimed property a better, faster, more efficient service,” Frerichs said.
The treasurer’s office is responsible for reuniting unclaimed property with its owners or survivors entitled to it. It can include everything from idle bank accounts or unpaid insurance benefits to the contents of forgotten or abandoned safety deposit boxes.
Frerichs’ office said unclaimed property included $19,000 from The (Richard) Pryor Foundation that was due to the Carver Community Center in Peoria that the late comedian spent time at as a youth. It also included a World War II Army veteran who never married who left $2 million to various Chicago-area charities. All of the veteran’s other family members died before he did, so the money sat unnoticed in an investment…