PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – On Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, Chris Stigall talked to Joe Kerry, the president of Mercury One, a charity founded by Glenn Beck, about a Pennsylvania law that allows the commonwealth to confiscate bank accounts that are inactive.
Kerry said he was surprised to learn that such a law even existed.
“We were putting our taxes together, and we noticed that one of our accounts, we didn’t have a statement for…The state of Pennsylvania literally came into the stock holding company and just took that money out of the account with no notice to us,” he said.
He stated that the process seemed confusing, even to the treasury officials he contacted while trying to recover his funds.
“The way the state of Pennsylvania defines ‘inactivity’ was if you failed to log into this account on a regular basis, and no one has been able to tell us what that means; they came in and they could take that money. When we found out, we obviously called the Department of Treasury and — this is where it gets bizarre — because the Department of Treasury said…’Yes, we took the money, but we can’t tell you how much we took because we don’t know, and we don’t know where your money is, and we won’t know where it is for the next three to six months,’” Kerry explained.
Kerry believes the commonwealth should be more up front about alerting people when their assets are about to be seized.
“The state will not send out any notice to you. This account had my correct email address, my correct phone number, my correct mailing address. No one in government sent us a notice saying ‘Hey, we took your money,’” he said.
He thinks it’s wrong that Pennsylvania has a law on the books allowing the state to take over inactive accounts.
“We asked the Department of Treasury there in Harrisburg, ‘How much time has to pass for your account to be considered inactive?’ Their response was, ‘We don’t know.’ I don’t have the time to look up the statute and find out how much time has passed. What gets me is, what business is it of state government to find out if my account is active or inactive?” Kerry said.