Maryland Comptroller’s Unclaimed Property Program Surpasses $1 Billion in Claims

From modest beginning in 1966, returning money and property to rightful owners has become major agency initiative

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (July 9, 2019) - Comptroller Peter Franchot today announced that the Unclaimed Property section of the agency has surpassed a significant milestone – processing more than $1 billion in claims since the program began in 1966.

“It’s a testament to the hardworking men and women of our agency that so many Marylanders have reclaimed their money and property,” said Comptroller Franchot. “From dormant bank accounts and forgotten security deposits to abandoned insurance claims and property left in safe deposit boxes, we have doggedly worked to identify the rightful owners and return what is theirs.”

In its first year, the Unclaimed Property section paid out 12 claims with a value of $711.48. More than 50 years later, the program disburses more than $60 million annually.

Each year, the Comptroller’s Office launches a public awareness campaign to promote the publication of the unclaimed property list. This year’s theme, incorporated in the print insert distributed to newspapers throughout the state and a video titled “Unclaimed Property Brothers,” features Comptroller Franchot and his previously unknown “twin” brother Pierre finding unclaimed property during a home renovation.

In addition, the list of 69,039 accounts worth more than $59 million will be the highlight of the Comptroller’s booth at fairs and festivals around the state this summer and fall.

Last year, 3,160 people at Maryland fairs and festivals stopped by the agency’s Unclaimed Property display to peruse the published list. Of that total, 642 people (more than 20 percent of those who searched) discovered and received more than $557,000 in unclaimed funds.

In total, the agency has more than 1.3 million accounts worth more than $1.6 billion in its Unclaimed Property program. Individuals and businesses can also search the online Unclaimed Property database at

This year, the Unclaimed Property booth will be set up at the following fairs and festivals:

Allegany County Fair
July 13-20
11490 Moss Ave.
Cumberland, MD

Howard County Fair
August 3-10
2210 Fairgrounds Road
West Friendship, MD

Montgomery County Fair
August 9-17
501 Perry Pkwy.
Gaithersburg, MD

Maryland State Fair
August 23-September 2
2200 York Road
Timonium, MD

Prince George’s County Fair
September 5-8
Show Place Arena
14900 Pennsylvania Ave.
Upper Marlboro, MD

Anne Arundel County Fair
September 12-15
1450 Generals Highway
Crownsville, MD

Great Frederick Fair
September 13-21
797 E. Patrick St.
Frederick, MD

Master Aging Expo
October 19
Howard Community College
10901 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, MD

Power of Age Expo
October 30
Maryland State Fairgrounds
2200 York Road
Timonium, MD


Susan O’Brien -
                                        410-260-7305 (office); 443-875-8540 (mobile)

Alan Brody -
                                        410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (mobile)

Franchot Reports $5.8 Million Rebate from State Purchasing Card Program

77 state agencies account for $284.8 million in small purchases

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (July 8, 2019) - Comptroller Peter Franchot today announced that the State of Maryland has received a $5.8 million rebate from U.S. Bank. The payment is the result of 77 state agencies spending $284.8 million on small purchases through Maryland’s Corporate Purchasing Card program for the period of April 26, 2018 through April 25, 2019.

“Marylanders expect their government to protect their financial interests and to save money whenever possible,” Comptroller Franchot said. “The Corporate Purchasing Card program allows state agencies to make small purchases in an efficient way, to provide accountability and to pay vendors in a timely manner, all while earning back a percentage of those dollars that can be put towards worthy programs.”

Under this program, the Comptroller’s Office issues one payment each month to U.S. Bank for all card purchases made during the previous month. Merchants are paid directly by VISA, usually within two business days of the purchase, which is shorter than the normal 30-day payment cycle. U.S. Bank pays a rebate when the state reaches pre-set purchase volumes. This contract for Purchasing Card services was approved by the Board of Public Works in 2013, with U.S. Bank offering a higher rebate percentage than the previous vendor.

Maryland first began using the VISA corporate purchasing card program in March 1997. Since then, the state has purchased over $4.3 billion worth of goods and services, while earning $68.4 million in rebates.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Alan Brody -
                                        410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (mobile)

Comptroller Franchot Issues Statement on Today’s P3 Vote

‘For the sake of our economy, public safety and quality of life, we need better roads AND better mass transit’

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (June 5, 2019) - Comptroller Peter Franchot today issued the following statement after the Board of Public Works approved the designation of a plan to add toll lanes to the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270 as a public-private partnership (P3).

“The State of Maryland is experiencing one of the worst traffic congestion crises in the nation – and as my fellow commuters in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties know, it’s only getting worse every day.

“Our congestion crisis has made life unbearable for people trying to get to work on time, for parents driving their kids to practices and games and for police officers, firefighters and ambulance drivers who are trying to save lives. This crisis will not be solved simply by constructing better roads and adding road capacity. Nor will it be solved simply by creating new transit routes and services. To the contrary, the magnitude of this challenge and the devastating consequences of inaction, demand a balanced solution. This is not about roads OR transit. For the sake of our economy, public safety and quality of life, we need better roads AND better mass transit. For that matter, we also need to make it much easier and safer for people to walk and ride bikes to their destinations.

“Consistent with that balanced approach, I voted today to allow Governor Hogan’s Administration to further explore the feasibility of an innovative new idea for relieving traffic gridlock on Interstate 270 and, in later years, on the Capital Beltway – one that would be built by the private sector and not by the taxpayers.  For those who may have missed today’s Board of Public Works meeting, today’s vote will simply allow the Maryland Department of Transportation to solicit bids from the private sector to build – at their own expense and at their own financial risk – lane capacity to these two, clogged interstate highways.

“Should a highly credible proposal be submitted and recommended to the Board of Public Works for our approval – which wouldn’t happen until late 2020 at the very earliest – the taxpayers of Maryland would not be asked to incur a financial obligation for this project. Rather, the state’s private partner would recoup its investment through toll receipts.

“No construction-related activities, whatsoever, will occur because of today’s vote. Not one shovel of dirt will be turned and not one property or parcel of land will be acquired without the future approval of the Board of Public Works. Furthermore, the project will not be approved by this Board until the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review – which includes the official Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) – is complete.

“While today’s vote merely represents the beginning of a very long process, I did take advantage of the process to lay down several markers that I believe are very important to the public interest.

“I insisted that we maximize this opportunity to balance this potential investment in roads with real improvement to our region’s mass transit network. I’m pleased to have secured a commitment from the Governor and MDOT Secretary Pete Rahn to direct a significant portion of toll revenues toward regional transit services – be they Metrorail, Metrobus, Ride-On or TheBus. I was assured at today’s meeting that regional and commuter bus services will have full access to the private toll lanes, which will make east-west and I-270 corridor bus services a much more appealing option to commuters throughout the region.

“Furthermore, I asked the Department to study the feasibility of monorail as yet another part of the solution to our region’s mobility challenges, and the Department has agreed to do so. These commitments, of course, are in addition to the Purple Line, which will run from New Carrollton to Bethesda and is now being constructed under the Public-Private model.

“I shared my expectations that any private proposal that ultimately comes before the Board of Public Works will feature the most ecologically-sensitive engineering and construction techniques in the nation. Before I approve any future contracts, I intend to convene a working group of experts – from engineers and planners to road builders and environmental stakeholders – to ensure that any project we adopt will meet the highest possible standards of sustainability.

“Finally, I made it abundantly clear that if this project is, indeed, to proceed, it must do so without unexpected or hidden public expense. Rest assured that at a time when too many of our taxpayers are already struggling to make ends meet, that I will not vote to approve any project that unduly exposes them to financial loss.

“Today’s vote was the catalyst for an extraordinary amount of public activism on both sides of this issue. Based on the outcome of today’s discussion, it is quite clear that many of the concerns expressed by stakeholders did, indeed, make a difference with Governor Hogan. I would like to express my sincere thanks to everyone who took the time to reach out to me directly and express their thoughts on this project.  Please rest assured that I listened carefully and made every effort to bring your ideas to the table for today’s discussion.

“Now that we are, officially, at the beginning of what promises to be a long and thorough process, I would strongly encourage everyone to remain engaged, to demand transparency and to hold all of us who serve in state and local government accountable to those we’ve been hired to serve.  It is my expectation that a positive process will lead to a balanced solution that will make our economy stronger, our communities safer and our state more livable for our families.”

# # #

MEDIA CONTACTS:      Susan O’Brien -
                                      410-260-7305 (office); 443-875-8540 (mobile)                                                         Alan Brody -
                                      410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (mobile)

Comptroller’s Baltimore Office to be Closed on Friday, May 24

Emergency air conditioning repairs will affect State Center complex

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (May 22, 2019) - Due to emergency repairs to the air conditioning system at the State Center complex in Baltimore, the Maryland Comptroller’s Office in Baltimore will be closed on Friday, May 24, 2019.

The Comptroller’s Office occupies three floors at 301 W. Preston Street, one of the affected buildings managed by the Maryland Department of General Services.

Taxpayers who have business with the agency are encouraged to call or visit one of the Comptroller’s 12 satellite offices — the closest branch to Baltimore is in Towson – or to access our online services at

Any further changes to the status of the State Center office will be shared as necessary. Please monitor the DGS website for updates regarding the repair work and building status.

Comptroller Franchot and all agency employees appreciate the public’s patience and understanding during this temporary inconvenience.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Alan Brody -
                                        410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (mobile)

Comptroller’s Office Offers Guidance to Taxpayers Affected by Vendor Software Outage

Agency stands ready to assist filers

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (May 15, 2019) -  The Comptroller of Maryland is offering guidance and assistance to corporate taxpayers affected by a recent software outage by tax service vendor Wolters Kluwers CCH.

Comptroller Peter Franchot encourages these taxpayers facing today’s deadline to file on time, if possible. However, if they cannot file on time, these taxpayers are encouraged to file for an extension. Potential tax returns affected by this include Forms 500, 510, and 504 for some fiscal year filers.

“My office will strive to assist this group of taxpayers, who through no fault of their own, were affected by the software outage involving CCH,” Comptroller Franchot said. “I encourage these filers to file on time, however, if that isn’t possible, my agency stands ready to help with the necessary extension and other options.”

Extension forms 500E, 510E, and 504E are available on the Comptroller’s website at

If no tax is due with the extension request, you may file the extension request at or call 410-260-7829 from Central Maryland or 1-800-260-3664 from elsewhere to telefile the return.

If a taxpayer wishes to request an abatement of interest or penalty incurred due to a delay in filing related to the CCH software outage, they may submit a request for abatement as a statement included with the return.  The statement should include the phrase “Late filed return due to CCH Software Outage.”

If a return already was filed without an adjustment request, but incurred interest or penalty due to a delay in filing related to the CCH software outage, a taxpayer may submit a request for abatement in writing to Taxpayer Accounting at the following address: Comptroller of Maryland, 110 Carroll St., Attn: Taxpayer Accounting, Annapolis, MD 21401.

MEDIA CONTACT:     Alan Brody -
                                        410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (mobile)

Comptroller Peter Franchot and “Twin” Brother Pierre Team Up To Find Unclaimed Property

Marylanders should search the database to see if they are owed money

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (May 6, 2019) - Comptroller Peter Franchot has teamed up with his previously unknown “twin” brother, Pierre, to help reunite Marylanders with their unclaimed property.

Based on the popular HGTV series “Property Brothers,” starring twin brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott, the Comptroller’s annual promotional video features Peter, a local home remodeler, and his “twin” brother, Pierre, an area real estate agent. In this episode of “Unclaimed Property Brothers,” the pair discover a lost bank statement at one of their projects and attempt to find the rightful owner.

This year’s Unclaimed Property inserts, which will run in more than 30 newspapers throughout the state, lists 69,039 accounts worth more than $59 million. Individuals and businesses can also search the online Unclaimed Property database.

In total, the agency has more than 1.3 million accounts worth more than $1.6 billion in its Unclaimed Property accounts.

In Fiscal Year 2018, the Comptroller’s Office honored nearly 43,883 claims totaling more than $68 million. Since 2007, the Comptroller’s Office has returned more than $700 million in unclaimed property to the rightful owners.

The Unclaimed Property list is full of possessions and financial payoffs that banks, insurance companies and financial institutions were unable to return to their owners. Any of the property that goes unclaimed is eventually handed over to the State.

The Comptroller’s Unclaimed Property division will help Marylanders find the items among the old bank accounts, stocks and bonds, security deposits, jewelry, insurance benefits, collectibles, valuable documents and other contents of safe deposit boxes.

The Comptroller appears on the cover of the 176-page insert that will appear in newspapers this month. The annual Unclaimed Property video is a complementary effort to draw attention to the campaign. In previous years, he has appeared as “Sheriff Franchot,” “Sherlock Franchot” and “The Most Interesting Man in Maryland.”

Along with the Unclaimed Property insert, which is published annually as required by law, the Comptroller’s Office searches tax records and Motor Vehicle Administration files to try and locate property owners. The agency also has a booth at the Maryland State Fair and other events throughout the year to allow people to check the Unclaimed Property database.

Financial institutions, insurance companies and corporations are required to notify the Comptroller’s Office of any property that has gone unclaimed or without activity for more than three years. This is usually wages, bank accounts, stocks or dividends, life insurance policies or from safe deposit boxes. When the Comptroller’s Office receives physical property that isn’t monetary, the items are appraised and then auctioned off on eBay, as required by state law. The proceeds are held for the owner in perpetuity. Funds are available to be claimed at any time with no statute of limitations and in most cases are not subject to taxes. Since the eBay program started in July 2006, the Comptroller’s Office has sold 8,744 items, appraised at $2.1 million, but the items actually sold resulted in $2.4 million for owners’ accounts.

The Comptroller urges anyone who locates their name or that of a family member on the list to contact the office at 410-767-1700 (Central Maryland) or toll-free at 1-800-782-7383 or by email at to find out how to reclaim their lost property.

This year’s video is also available captioned in Spanish. Display graphics are available in English in color and black-and-white, as well as Spanish in color and black-and-white.

The Comptroller’s Office appreciates the assistance of Severn Bankcorp, Hyatt Commercial, Spire Architecture, and Annapolis On the Level Home Improvement and Maintenance in the production of the video.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Susan O’Brien -
                                        410-260-7305 (office); 443-875-8540 (mobile)

Franchot to Celebrate Small Business Appreciation Week May 5-11

Comptroller will visit and honor businesses in Salisbury, Baltimore, Towson, Annapolis and Waldorf

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (May 3, 2019) - Comptroller Peter Franchot will visit small businesses throughout Maryland next week in recognition of Small Business Appreciation Week, which runs from May 5-11.

“From Oakland to Ocean City, small businesses are the beating heart of our state’s economy,” said Comptroller Franchot. “These companies create jobs, provide necessary services, invest in local communities, drive innovation and generate tax revenues that help fund our schools, roads, law enforcement and so much more.”

For more than 50 years, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.

“As everyone knows, small businesses are the backbone of the economy,” said Mike O’Halloran, state director for NFIB-Maryland, the state’s largest small business advocacy group. “Here in Maryland, our small business owners serve their customers in every way possible. From family farms selling their produce at the local farmer’s market to auto shops getting your car back on the road, small businesses keep Maryland’s economy going. This week, be sure to pay your local shopkeepers a visit during Small Business Appreciation Week.”

The Comptroller often visits small businesses in his travels throughout Maryland to recognize the entrepreneurs who risk their life savings and make major sacrifices to run their own businesses.

During Small Business Appreciation Week, Mr. Franchot will visit and present proclamations at each of the following businesses:

  • Monday, May 6, 2:30 p.m. — The Irish Penny Pub & Grill, 1014 S. Salisbury Blvd., Salisbury, MD 21801
  • Tuesday, May 7,  2:30 p.m. — Baltimore Bicycle Works, 1813 Falls Rd., Baltimore, MD 21201
  • Wednesday, May 8, 5:15 p.m. — Ayd Hardware, 6801 York Rd., Baltimore, MD 21212
  • Thursday, May 9, 10:45 a.m. — The Annapolis Pottery, 40 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401
  • Friday, May 10, 4:30 p.m. — Beacon Surplus, 3256 Leonardtown Rd., Waldorf, MD 20601

Additionally, the Comptroller will attend the Maryland Craft Beer Festival in Frederick on Saturday, May 11, which features more than 40 breweries representing every region of Maryland.

More information about each of these visits will be provided in separate media advisories.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Alan Brody -
                                        410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (mobile)


Comptroller Franchot Warns BGE Customers About Phone Scam

Field Enforcement Division investigating phony threats of utility shut-off if money is not paid

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (April 25, 2019) - Comptroller Peter Franchot is warning Marylanders about a phone scam made to Baltimore Gas & Electric customers threatening to cut off utility service if money is not paid.

“These crooks are stoking fear with automated phone calls that sound legitimate, and trying to intimidate recipients into sending money they do not owe,” Comptroller Franchot said. “Do not fall for it. Agents in our Field Enforcement Division are investigating the source of the calls. Customers should remain vigilant and always double-check whether the calls are authentic.”

On Monday, the Comptroller’s Unclaimed Property Section received an influx of phone calls from BGE customers reporting that they had received scam calls threatening to shut off their power if they did not return a call within 30 minutes. Customers were told to send money via fund transfer services to avoid their power being cut.

The automated calls provided an 800 number to call back, but residents’ caller ID indicated it was placed from 410-767-1700, which is the Unclaimed Property Section’s main number. Over a two-day period, the unit received more than 300 calls in reference to the scam.

This type of scam uses “spoofing technology” in an attempt to trick victims that the call is coming from a legitimate source. Anyone who has received such a call should contact BGE at 1-800-685-0123 or consult their website for more information.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Alan Brody -
410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (mobile)

Comptroller Issues Statement on Veto of HB 1052

Franchot available for media interviews on costly, reckless, disruptive legislation

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (March 27, 2019) - Comptroller Peter Franchot today issued the following statement in response to Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of House Bill 1052, which would create a new commission, led by political appointees and at great expense to Maryland taxpayers, to replace the nationally-renowned Field Enforcement Division that has been housed in the Office of the Comptroller for decades.

Comptroller Franchot is available for additional comment. Interested media should contact Communications Director Susan O’Brien at 443-875-8540 or Press Secretary Alan Brody at 443-924-1473 to arrange an interview.

Following is the Comptroller’s statement:

“I commend Governor Hogan for vetoing this unnecessary, reckless and tremendously expensive bill that would put the regulation of alcohol and tobacco in the control of a politically-appointed board that is unaccountable to Marylanders.

“In light of the outrageous improprieties of several University of Maryland Medical System board members, it’s especially brazen and irresponsible for leaders of the General Assembly to use the legislative process to carry out political vendettas that lessens oversight and enables special interests to handpick their regulator. Now more than ever, legislative leaders need to take steps to restore faith and trust in our government, and this bill flies directly in the face of efforts to make government more transparent.

“This bill achieves no public good and serves only to punish me for my unwavering efforts to support Maryland craft breweries. It recklessly disrupts the outstanding public service long provided by the men and women of our Field Enforcement Division, who have been universally praised for their hard work and dedication. The uncertainty of this new commission’s function creates a climate ripe for potential malfeasance. If the veto is overridden, nearly $50 million of taxpayer money will be spent on the upheaval of dozens of state employees who are unfairly being used as political pawns.

“This veto must be sustained. Members of the Senate and House of Delegates should use this opportunity to focus on making government more accountable, not less, to the citizens we serve. Not only is this bill’s price tag too steep, but the cost of further eroding the public’s trust is too high a price to pay.”

MEDIA CONTACT:  Alan Brody -
410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (mobile)

Protecting Taxpayers: Comptroller Franchot Blocks Returns From Two Dozen Suspicious Tax Preparers

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (March 11, 2019) – As part of his continued efforts to combat tax fraud and identity theft, Comptroller Peter Franchot announces today that the agency has stopped processing electronic tax returns from 24 tax preparers at locations in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia. The immediate suspensions were due to a high volume of questionable returns received. During the 2018 tax filing season, 74 tax preparers at 78 locations were flagged. Since Calendar Year 2016, 215 tax preparation firms at 228 locations have been suspended due to highly-suspicious tax returns. The complete list of previously blocked preparers is available online at .

“Our Questionable Returns Detection Team vigilantly monitors tax filings and is constantly keeping a watchful eye for unscrupulous preparers who submit false returns, causing financial harm to individual filers and their families and to the State of Maryland’s coffers. Blocking these swindlers and protecting hardworking Maryland taxpayers is the agency’s top priority each tax season,” said Comptroller Peter Franchot.

The Comptroller’s nationally recognized fraud unit uses state-of-the-art technology that detects suspicious returns. The unit then issues notifications to the identified fraudulent preparers. The agency refers the list of tax preparers to the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, which will prioritize the cases to be prosecuted  after thorough investigations by agents with the Comptroller’s Field Enforcement Division. A review process provides an opportunity for blocked preparers to have their filing privileges restored.

The tax preparers and locations blocked from filing returns through this action are:

  • CB2 Consulting LLC, 10410 Kensington Pkwy., Ste. 309, Kensington, MD 20895
  • Innovative Business Accounting & Taxation Services LLC, 7029 Oak Grove Way, Elkridge, MD 21075
  • Square & Eagle Group, 2100 McMahon Road, Unit 2122, Silver Spring, MD 20902
  • Kang Solutions LLC, 6475 New Hampshire Ave., Ste. 504K, Hyattsville, MD 20783
  • Albert Nsiah, 7104 Hanover Parkway D2, Greenbelt, MD 20770
  • DonNeshia Tax Service, 6508 Asset Drive, Landover, MD 20785
  • Sheila’s Tax Service, 7400 Greeley Road, Landover, MD 20785
  • SW Accounting Associates, 1726 D Street, NE, 1st Floor, Washington DC 20002
  • CPG & Associates LLC, 5206 Grunion Place, Waldorf MD 20603
  • Kate E. Whaley, 4110 Lakeview Drive, Temple Hills, MD 20748
  • Sum Up Tax Services, 6325 Brightlea Drive, Lanham, MD 20706
  • Richman Financial Services, 8404 Eureka Court, Alexandria, VA 22309
  • Aldrin F. Ngwa, 13810 Castle Blvd., Apt. 102, Silver Spring, MD 20904
  • Henry’s Tax LLC, P.O. BOX 4916, Alexandria, VA 22303
  • Keep It Simple Tax Services, 4309 Rockport Lane, Bowie, MD 20720
  • Foundation Enterprises LLC, 5729 Janice Lane, Temple Hills, MD 20748
  • Agadbak Tax and Financial Services, 20137 Welbeck Terrace, Montgomery Village, MD 20886
  • Dionne Makins, 7301 Flag Harbor Drive, District Heights, MD 20747
  • Valerie Robinson Tax Service, 12438 Old Colony Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
  • Whites Tax Service, 102 Billy Ave., Archdale, NC 27263
  • Excellent Tax Professional, 18216 Merino Drive, Accokeek, MD 20607
  • Keen Taxes And Associates LLC, 2410 Tredway Drive, Macon, GA 31211
  • Taxjam LLC, 13205 3rd Street, Bowie, MD 20720
  • M&S Tax Service, P.O. BOX 322, Temple Hills, MD 20757

Since taking office in 2007, the Comptroller’s office has identified and blocked more than 100,000 fraudulent returns and intercepted and denied $206 million worth of fraudulent refunds.

If taxpayers suspect fraud, they should immediately report the issue to the Comptroller’s Office by calling 1-800-MD-TAXES (1-800-638-2937) or 410-260-7980 in Central Maryland or

MEDIA CONTACT:  Alan Brody -
                                        410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (mobile)