State Treasurer John Perdue presented a $169,740 unclaimed property check Tuesday to Charleston resident Gary Cohen, during a ceremony at the Treasurer’s East Wing office.
Cohen is a Charleston resident whose father Marvyn amassed shares of stock in Taro Pharmaceuticals. The stocks were liquidated, according to law, after the state had assumed custodianship via the unclaimed property process. Companies typically transfer shares to a respective state’s unclaimed property program once they have lost contact with the share owner.
“We’re thrilled as always to reunite another West Virginians with a lost financial asset,” said Treasurer Perdue. “Last year we returned $13.8 million to former and current state residents and we hope to break that mark this fiscal year. So far we’re off to a fine start.”
Cohen said he intended on paying off the mortgages on houses belonging to daughters Brooke, 33, and Brittany, 35. Brooke attended Tuesday’s function.
“When I found out how much the check was going to be I knew exactly what I wanted to do,” Gary Cohen said. “It takes a lot of pressure off them. They’re great kids. They’ve always put a smile on my face so this is my turn to put a smile on their faces.”
Brooke Cohen, who lives in Morgantown, said she is grateful for the life-changing gift.
“It is really a blessing and a huge surprise,” she said. “It’s a huge relief to know that financial obligation is going to be lifted and I’m going to have the funds to do things I otherwise wouldn’t be able to do. My dad is very generous. He would give you the shirt off his back.”
Unclaimed property is any asset from which an individual has become unintentionally separated. Examples other than dormant stocks include a forgotten utility deposit, abandoned safe deposit box contents and a final paycheck from a job.
Kanawha County residents claimed $2.5 million in lost assets last fiscal year. Residents completed 1,124 claims, a state high in both categories. Kanawha County is the state’s largest with 191,000 residents.