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Treasurer Stacy Garrity: Commonwealth Court Affirms Treasury’s Power to Review Unclaimed Property Records

Strong court ruling supports Treasury’s efforts to ensure companies follow unclaimed property law

Harrisburg, PA - The Commonwealth Court recently ruled in favor of the Pennsylvania Treasury Department, affirming that PPL Corporation (PPL) must provide records to Treasury’s designated auditors, who are working with the Department to determine that all unclaimed property is reported as required by law so that Treasury can return it to the rightful owners.

“I’m fighting to return money from unclaimed PPL investments to the shareholders it belongs to. This decision is important because it means that Treasury can make sure companies comply with Pennsylvania’s unclaimed property law.”

Pennsylvania State Treasurer, Stacy Garrity

The ruling confirmed that Treasury has the statutory authority to require that PPL provides records in electronic format and to verify the accuracy of those records using software analytics. The ruling also held that federal law does not preempt Treasurer Garrity’s authority to compel production of PPL’s shareholder records and audit them to ensure their accuracy.

In May 2019, Treasury filed an enforcement action against the Allentown-based electric utility in Commonwealth Court.

“Since 2017, PPL has refused to provide the requested records electronically and claimed that Treasury doesn’t have the authority to check the accuracy of those records. Because of those indefensible actions, we were compelled to issue and enforce a subpoena against the company – the first time in at least two decades that Treasury had to take such an extraordinary step. I hope this Commonwealth Court ruling will prompt PPL to stop delaying and comply with the law.”

Pennsylvania State Treasurer, Stacy Garrity

Treasury routinely conducts unclaimed property audits of companies, using vendors contracted for that specific purpose. Typically, hundreds of these examinations are ongoing at any given point in time to determine whether the companies are complying with their legal obligation to report unclaimed property.

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