(Beaufort, N.C.) – Edward Teach, the infamous English pirate better known by his high-seas pseudonym Blackbeard, was known to frequent Beaufort with his plunder. Three hundred years later, State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, the clean-shaven public servant known as the keeper of the public purse, came to the Crystal Coast to return some treasure to its rightful owners.
Treasurer Folwell was at Beaufort Town Hall on Friday, Nov. 12, to deliver a check for missing money and meet with Town Manager John Day and Mayor-elect Sharon Harker. Harker, a two-term town commissioner, was elected mayor on Nov. 2. She will be the first African American woman to hold that post.
“It’s always an honor to meet with dedicated public servants during my official travels around the state. It was especially rewarding to meet with Mayor-elect Harker and congratulate her on her history-making electoral win,” Treasurer Folwell said. “John Day has served his seaside town with distinction and valuable experience, leading it through the ravages of hurricanes and a pandemic. He has earned his upcoming retirement in December.”
“The town has valued the relationship with the Treasurer’s Office in processing the debt that we have taken on to build infrastructure” through the Local Government Commission that Treasurer Folwell chairs, Day said. “We’re getting ready to do a lot more soon.”
While meeting with town officials, Treasurer Folwell also turned over $286.01 that Department of State Treasurer (DST) staff in the Unclaimed Property Division (UPD) identified as unclaimed assets belonging to the town. UPD is the repository for approximately 18 million properties valued at roughly $919 million under DST’s custody.
Treasurer Folwell has made it part of his mission at DST to “watch the pennies and the paperclips,” and Harker echoed that conservative fiscal approach to governance.
“We appreciate any money coming into our town. No check too big, too small,” Harker said. “We’re a very conservative town and we like to get money back and use it to help improve the town infrastructure and facilities. We really appreciate Treasurer Folwell coming down to deliver the check himself.”
Treasurer Folwell encouraged Beaufort and Carteret County residents to search UPD’s NCCash.com to determine if they, too, have money awaiting.
“We are safeguarding 110,209 properties valued at more than $8 million from Carteret County,” Treasurer Folwell said. “We would like nothing better than to give that all away. Our database is easily searchable. Search for your name, your spouse’s name and maiden name, relatives, church and civic groups you belong to. The odds are you or someone you know has money waiting to be claimed.”
For the fiscal year to date, UPD has paid 44,616 claims totaling $31.2 million from NCCash. Part of that total has been distributed through the new NCCash Match program, a no-hassle, expedited system that eliminated paperwork processing. As of Oct. 4, DST paid 27,964 claims totaling nearly $11.6 million.
Under state law, UPD receives and safeguards funds that are escheated, or turned over, to DST. The unclaimed property consists of bank accounts, wages, utility deposits, insurance policy proceeds, stocks, bonds and contents of safe deposit boxes that have been abandoned. More information, including how to find out if you are owed money, can be found at http://www.nccash.com/.