Unclaimed Property Crime Blotter: Two Texans Charged With Fraudulently Claiming Unclaimed Property (from Indiana)
According to an article by Stephen Dean on Examiner.com (Houston) two Texas women have been indicted for falsely posing as claimants entitled to unclaimed property. According to the article, two Texas women stole approximately $300,000 in unclaimed tax refunds using rental mailboxes in the Houston area. When they made an attempt to claim an item of more than $100,000 from Indiana Unclaimed Property Department, however, the scheme began to unravel.
Suspicious unclaimed property department employees tracked the phone numbers and mailing addresses used in connection with the claim, and forwarded the information to law enforcement and U.S. postal authorities for investigation. Ultimately, the two women were arrested, and are now facing federal mail fraud claims.
Many unclaimed property claimants are dismayed and annoyed with how long the process takes and the amount of paperwork involved. Unfortunately, it is precisely because of alleged frauds like this that make the refunds process cumbersome.