I-Team: Finding unclaimed cash

The state of Ohio is holding $2.6 billion of your money and would like to pay it back, but first the state has to find them. As the I-Team learned recently, it is not easy.

Our investigation began with public records, listing the top unclaimed fund accounts across the Miami Valley. The money comes from cash left behind in bank accounts, insurance policies, even paychecks that were never cashed.

ARE YOU OWED MONEY? Check for unclaimed funds

The accounts ranged from a low of $3,741.76 in Shelby County to $215,474.91 in Montgomery County. The top account belonged to Glenn A. Wick of Stockton Avenue, Kettering, who died several years ago. A neighbor, George Sideras, was shocked to learn that so much money is sitting in Columbus waiting for the family to claim it.

"Oh my God. That's phenomenal. That's an incredible amount of money. That's like winning the lottery," Sideras said.

Just like the Lottery, the person involved must step forward. In this case, state law allows family members to claim it, but so far that has not happened. The I-Team found many people in the Dayton region named Wick. Many of them wished that they were a close relative, but all of them admitted they did not know Glenn Wick. Until the money is claimed, it remains in the state's unclaimed funds account, theoretically forever.

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One example of how long money can sit idle is an account linked to an old factory that dates back to the 1890's. The Springfield Machine Tool Company was a successful drill press and lathe maker from the turn of the century until 1980, according to Virginia Weygandt, Director of Museum Collections at the Clark County Heritage Center. She was surprised to hear that the company still had unclaimed funds totaling $94,235.35 in Columbus.

"Oh my goodness. That's a lot of money," Weygandt said.

Still, with no one stepping forward to claim the money it will remain in state hands. With the help of public records, repeated phone calls And a lot of knocking on doors in neighborhoods, the I-Team tracked down half a dozen account holders. Most of these people were unaware that they had unclaimed funds ready to be returned.

Every business with unclaimed funds refused to comment. Several families notified of missing money expressed gratitude for the heads-up, but also declined comment.

However, Marvin and Cindy Frilling of Kettering, were thrilled to get the news. The account belonged to Marvin's mother Minnie, who died 17 years ago. A single account under her name holds $54,203.21.

"Goodness gracious, I had no clue," said Marvin Frilling.

His wife, Cindy, said Minnie was very careful with her money.
"It is just incredible. She was very frugal," said Cindy Frilling. "She wouldn't spend money unless she had to."

Marvin and Cindy plan on applying for the money as soon as possible. the application process begins with a request for forms through the state of Ohio's web site and through missing money.com.

Anyone can see the top accounts in the Miami Valley by searching through the unclaimed Funds page on whio.com.