CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Charleston resident Gary Cohen is putting his daughter’s finances above is own after state Treasurer John Perdue presented him with a six-figure unclaimed property check Tuesday.
“I’m going to help pay my daughter’s mortgage off,” Cohen told MetroNews. He received a check for $169,000.
“It was shocking,” he said. “I’m really glad that I can use something worth while.”
Perdue said Cohen was unaware of the money his father had in unclaimed property. It wasn’t until Roger Hughes with the state Treasurer’s Office knocked on Cohen’s door to let him know about the money.
Cohen’s father Mayryn had shares of stocks in Taro Pharmaceuticals, which were liquidated, according to law. The state became the keeper of the money through its unclaimed property program.
Typically, companies transfer shares to a state’s unclaimed property program after they lose contact with the share holder.
“It’s uniquely refreshing because they come after you,” Cohen said about the Treasurer’s program. “It’s rare that you see state government chasing you to give you money, so it’s a nice change.”
Brooke Cohen, 34, of Morgantown was thrilled to hear of the unclaimed money and that her father decided to help her.
“It’s something you never think will happen to you in your lifetime,” she said. “I never expected to be able to have a lot of my mortgage paid off at my age.”
A lot of people are unaware of their relatives’ assets, Perdue said.
“Let your loved ones know what your assets are,” he encouraged the public. “In West Virginia and all over the country that doesn’t happen. People try to hide their assets.”
Perdue said senior citizens, especially, should tell their families about their finances.
“We’re such a senior oriented state. We know how important it is to educate our seniors and watching for scams on top of that, but also being able to educate their children and loved ones,” he said.
In the last fiscal year, Kanawha County residents claimed $2.5 million in lost assets. Perdue said they’ve returned over $160 million in total.
Cohen is one of 10 individuals in West Virginia to receive a six-figure check.