Ritchie Working To Reunite Central, Northern New Yorkers With $19 Million In Lost Funds

Thousands of Forgotten Accounts Held by the State

State Senator Patty Ritchie wants to reunite 66,000 Northern and Central New York residents—along with local governments, area hospitals, school, agencies and local media—with $19 million that’s being held by the state, and which they may not even know they were missing.

At the request of Senator Ritchie, the Office of the New York State Comptroller created a comprehensive list of abandoned or forgotten accounts that belong to residents of Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties, but are being held by the state. The money is from old bank accounts, forgotten rent or utility deposits, unused gift cards and other type of accounts.

Each of the “lost” accounts holds a minimum of $25.

“In today’s busy society, we can sometimes forget to use the remaining balance on a gift card or about old bank accounts holding small amounts of money,” said Senator Ritchie. 

“When that happens, the money just doesn’t disappear. New York State will hold onto these funds until their rightful owners seek them out.  I hope that Central and Northern New Yorkers will take this opportunity to take their money back—it’s theirs after all.”

In Senator Ritchie’s district, the state is holding the following:

Jefferson County: 31,093 accounts, valued at $8,040,767
Oswego County:  22,428 accounts, valued at $7,423,777
St. Lawrence County (only 48th Senate District): 12,510 accounts, valued at $3,648,263

Senator Ritchie has created a link on her website—www.ritchie.nysenate.gov—where area residents can search for accounts. Visitors are encouraged to try different variations of their name, and to search for friends and relatives as well.

Funds can be claimed by filling out a simple form and sending it to the State Comptroller.

While the list of forgotten accounts mostly include individuals, reviewing the data Senator Ritchie also found:

Over four dozen accounts that appear to belong to state and local government agencies;
36 accounts in the name of area hospitals and health providers
35 school district accounts
Eight accounts for local media outlets

Senator Ritchie is attempting to contact representatives of the organizations on that list to make sure they are aware that they could be owed money by the state.

In 2014, Senator Ritchie launched a similar effort that uncovered more than 50 accounts and returned more than $70,000 to local governments in Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Oswego Counties.

Above please find a listing of unclaimed funds accounts by community in Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties.