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Claiming what is not yours is criminal

You read the headlines about states having millions of dollars to give to rightful owners. Tempting? Here is a story about someone that got caught cheating.

Florida has found Michael Bronstein, 37 guilty of stealing almost one million dollars from the state’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property. Bronstein plead guilty and was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.

Bronstein was sentenced May 25 for his participation in an elaborate scheme to file fraudulent claims for unclaimed property.

The Florida Bureau of Unclaimed Property has more than $1 billion in cash and unclaimed property from dormant bank accounts, uncashed payroll checks and abandoned safe deposit boxes.

Bronstein stole the identity of the rightful owners and filed what the state thought were legitimate claims. Authorities discovered this in 2002 when a legitimate owner filed a claim on property that Bronstein had already collected.

The Department’s Office of Fiscal Integrity investigation found Bronstein had made six other fraudulent claims in Florida and made similar attempts in nine other states.

In total, Bronstein claimed and received $895,000 in unclaimed property and $60,000 from fraudulent credit card transactions.

To find out if you have any unclaimed money click here. The free money search will include all state and federal databases for a comprehensive search. Also information regarding how to claim your money will be available to you.

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