Cyprus In Our Future: State Governments Steal Savings from Dead People



hat tip to Harvey Miller

Depositors in Cyprus with accounts over 100,000 euros will lose as much as 60% of their savings to start. The money will be taken by the EU and used to bailout banks. It might not be enough and the EU might end up taking 100%, which also might not be enough.

The Euro Chief said last week that this process might serve as a model for other nations who receive bailouts and don’t pull their weight.

Many of the savers in Cyprus are Russian depositors and Russia, being smarter than we are, will not bail them out.

Most Americans believe that can’t happen here, but California has already stolen money from businesses. California levied a Cyprus-style tax on small businesses. They also made it retroactive to 2008 with interest and penalties. To make matters worse, it was a benefit given to lure businesses to California and then taken back. Click the link if you are unfamiliar with the story.

Our country also steals stocks, the contents of safety deposit boxes and anything else they can scavenge. They steal from the dead or the “missing” to pay off debts and fund programs.

A Good Morning America investigation found that some states are stealing unclaimed property from safety deposit boxes, apartment security deposits, un-cashed dividend checks, etc. left by deceased relatives or people who have seemingly disappeared.

Some states, like California, are putting the funds right into their general fund so they can spend it as soon as they can get their hands on it. Others are using the interest to fund state programs but leaving the principle.

Every state actually hires contractors to locate and steal unclaimed property and then pays them according to how many they find!

No conflict of interest there!

Originally, property in California was unclaimed if the rightful owner had no contact for 15 years, then it was 7, then 5, then 3 and finally 1 year or sooner.

One San Francisco resident discovered the government drilled, seized, and turned over the contents of her safety deposit box to the state of California, marked “owner unknown.”

The victim, Carla Ruff, had her name on the documents in the box, along with her address which is about six blocks from the bank.

She received regular statements from the bank and could never have imagined this would happen. When she discovered the loss, her husband was dying. 

To make matters worse, the government sold off $82,500 of her great-grandmother’s precious jewelry for $1800.

“These things were things that she gave to me,” Ruff said. “I valued them because I loved her.”

It’s not only safety deposit boxes. One British man went to retire and found that the $4 million in US stock he owned had been seized by California and sold for $200,000 years earlier even though he was never missing and had annual contact with the business in possession of his stock.

A Sacramento family’s railroad land rights, worth millions of dollars, were sold off as unclaimed property. Their ancestors had owned the rights for generations.

California can no longer seize property until  they prove they have cleaned up their program. They are now the only state that sends notices alerting citizens about unclaimed property.

In Delaware, unclaimed property is the third largest source of state revenue.

Oregon does the right thing and holds unclaimed property in perpetuity. Colorado leaves the principal untouched. Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Maryland make efforts to find rightful owners.

The moral of the story is to never lose touch with property being held by a bank or business because the government is waiting in the wings.

One of my relatives kept cash and jewelry in shoe boxes because she didn’t trust banks or the government. Maybe she wasn’t as nutty as we thought.

Is a government that scrounges from safety deposit boxes a government that won’t engage in a Cyprus-like theft in the future if their spending without constraint leads to desperation?

Read more at abc news.