Kentucky part of coalition seeking unclaimed funds from Delaware

Published 3:48 pm Thursday, October 6, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...


Attorney General Daniel Cameron, along with 29 other attorneys general, are seeking to have more than $250 million in unclaimed funds returned to the respective states of the coalition that currently being held by the state of Delaware.

The Arkansas Office of the Attorney General argued on Monday before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the coalition.

Email newsletter signup

“Federal law in this area doesn’t allow any one state to secure such a financial windfall,” Cameron said.  “We joined this coalition to ensure dollars that belong to Kentucky are returned to the Commonwealth, and we hope that the Supreme Court will side with our multi-state coalition in this case.”

The lawsuit between the multi-state coalition and Delaware centers on which state is entitled to funds from unclaimed “official checks” sold by MoneyGram, a money transfer services company that operates internationally and in all 50 states.

Under the Federal Disposition Act, proceeds from unclaimed money orders, traveler’s checks, and similar items must be turned over to the state where the item was purchased. Despite that federal law, Delaware, which is the state where MoneyGram is incorporated, has insisted that the company turn over to it hundreds of millions of dollars in unclaimed funds.

“As the watchdog of taxpayer dollars, I work diligently to return missing money to its rightful owners,” said State Treasurer Allison Ball. “Kentucky deserves their correct share of these dollars; I am hopeful the Supreme Court will side with our coalition.”

In 2016, Arkansas led a bipartisan lawsuit against Delaware in the U.S. Supreme Court.  The Court then appointed a special master, Judge Pierre N. Leval of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, to oversee the case and recommend a resolution.

Judge Leval determined that the U.S. Supreme Court should resolve the case in favor of the multi-state coalition led by Arkansas.  Following this decision, Delaware filed objections to Judge Leval’s recommendation.  The oral arguments presented Monday will assist the High Court in deciding whether to accept or modify the special master’s recommendation.

There is no word on when the justices will issue their decision.