Unclaimed Property and Corporate Compliance News

Overstock.com Case Highlights Ongoing Concerns with Delaware Gift Cards

On Thursday, September 20, 2018, Overstock.com lost a jury trial in Delaware over dormant gift cards.

This trial is the current result from a qui tam lawsuit filed in June 2013 against Card Compliant, Overstock.com, and multiple other retailers.

Major Overhaul to Delaware Unclaimed Property Law in the Works

Update: SB 13 was signed by Delaware Governor on February 2, 2017. The bill, with the Senate Amendment, is now law.

Gregor New Director of Revenue

In the wake of Mark Udinski's departure from Delaware to Kelmar, Delaware named David Gregor as the new State Escheator. On Friday, Delaware announced that Gregor was named the new Director of Revenue, effective today, January 9.

One significant improvement during Gregor's tenure was the department's increase in claims returned to unclaimed property owners. While at approximately 20% of annual collections, the claims payments is a vast improvement from the 3-6% in prior administrations.

Utah Court Rules Against Judgment Creditor Claimant

After holders report unclaimed property to the states, it becomes the states' responsibility to return the property to the rightful owner. Each state has a process by which the owners or their heirs can come forward to make a claim. If you don't follow these rules, the likelihood of recovery is near zero. A case out of Utah reaffirms that claimants must follow the statutory and regulatory process set out by the unclaimed property law to claim money from the state administrators.

Did Court Create Chaos With Marathon Dismissal?

Court OrderMarathon Oil has been the subject of a nine year audit by Delaware and it's third-party auditor, Kelmar Associates. Earlier this year, they filed lawsuit to stop overbroad and burdensome requests relating to the inquiry into its gift card program and entities not incorporated in Delaware.

Federal Court Dismisses Plains All-American Lawsuit

Court OrderThis week, a federal court judge dismissed the Plains All-American Pipeline LP v. Cook lawsuit, saying that the case was not ripe for judicial relief.

Can Delaware Even Enforce A Summons?

Important questions on the limits of state power in unclaimed property audits are currently under litigation. Specifically, what are the permissible limits of state authority in conducting an unclaimed property examination and assessing liability against a corporate holder? Last month, a federal court judge in Temple-Inland said that Delaware's estimation and assessment of liability "shock the conscience" and are unconstitutional.

Rinse and Repeat: Delaware Subject to Yet Another UP Lawsuit

Photo by smokedsalmon on FreeDigitalPhotos.netLess than a month ago, a federal court judge said that Delaware's unclaimed property audit process "shocks the conscience." Yet here we are again, talking about audit practices and requests that are unconstitutional, irrelevant, and over broad. And potentially open up the holder to potential disclosure of trade secrets and other confidential information and even potential liability in the event of a data security breach. This time Delaware is playing its game of "gotcha" with the office supply store Office Depot, Inc., a Delaware corporation.

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