Oklahoma Ponzi Lawsuit Appealed to State Supreme Court

Photo by smokedsalmon on FreeDigitalPhotos.netLast summer, noted Oklahoma activist attorney Jerry Fent filed lawsuit against the state for improperly using the unclaimed property fund. Fent alleged that the fund had become a Ponzi scheme as the state routinely used the money to fund government operations. According to the lawsuit, the unclaimed property fund could have $550 million in claims if everyone came forward, but the state has only $99 million in cash on hand.

In September, the District Court, after briefing and hearing, dismissed the case, stating that sovereign immunity precluded monetary damages in the case and that none of the provisions of the Unclaimed Property Act effectuate an unconstitutional taking.

Yesterday, Fent filed an appeal with the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Fent requested oral arguments before the court en banc, stating that the case is of "immediate statewide concern" that will result in "standing room participation." The State has not yet responded.

The case number is SD-114482.

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Overreaching State Authority in Unclaimed Property Audits