Monday, May 15, 2023

Treasurer Folwell Delivers Check to Ascend Leadership Academy

Thousands of Dollars Belonging to Charter School Were Being Safeguarded by
Sanford, NC
May 15, 2023

Officials at Ascend Leadership Academy in Sanford welcomed State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, to the charter school on Monday to discuss school operations and to return misdirected money that was in safekeeping at the Department of State Treasurer (DST). 

“Sound public education is a cornerstone of individual, community and statewide success. As a product of public schools, and as someone who is grateful for the instruction I received, I am pleased to deliver this money,” said Treasurer Folwell, who is a member of the State Board of Education. “I am confident this will aid Ascend Leadership Academy in its mission to prepare young people for their vocations and avocations and to become productive members of society.”  

During a routine review of data, DST staff in the Unclaimed Property Division (UPD), commonly called, identified $7,090.63 belonging to the Lee County charter school, which serves nearly 500 students in grades 6-12.   

“These funds will contribute to our capital improvement campaign. The funds will bolster our facilities projects and in turn allow students to participate in extracurricular activities,” said Justin Smith, managing director and founder of Ascend Leadership Academy. “Every dollar counts at a charter school. We are grateful that your program discovered these unclaimed funds and is delivering them back to  Ascend Leadership Academy.” is the repository for 17.7 million properties valued at $1.02 billion under DST’s custody awaiting return to the rightful owners after being lost, misdirected or overlooked. More than 19 million owners are associated with those properties.  

Through April 30, UPD has paid 159,925 claims totaling $90.1 million from NCCash. Part of that total has been disbursed through the NCCash Match program, a no-hassle, expedited system that eliminated paperwork processing. As of April 30, DST paid 91,536 Cash Match claims totaling $24.7 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.   

Unclaimed property can result from a person or entity forgetting they are due money, or from a move of location and forgetting to provide a new address. It also could result from a typing error in a house number or zip code in an address, a name change, or data loss from a business converting its computer system. As society becomes more mobile and steadily moves to electronic transactions, the risk of having unclaimed property has increased.