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Zweifel claims record for giving Missourians their property back

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 10, 2009 - Missouri state Treasurer Clint Zweifel announced this morning that, with less than three weeks to go in this fiscal year, his office already has set a record this fiscal year by finding the owners of 71,406 unclaimed property accounts.

The state treasurer's Unclaimed Property Division is the depository for "abandoned assets from bank accounts, stocks, bonds, insurance policy proceeds, government refunds, utility deposits, wages from past jobs and contents of safe deposit boxes."

Care to find out if some of that property belongs to you? Go to https://www.showmemoney.com/.

"There is still more than $550 million waiting to be claimed," said Zweifel, a Democrat, in a statement. "We will continue to track down the owners of these assets through our advertising and outreach initiatives, and we hope to set a new record next year."

Part of this year's record likely belongs to Zweifel's predecessor, Republican Sarah Steelman, who left office in January. She also was in office for part of fiscal year 2004, when that previous record was set of 71,155 accounts paid out to owners.

"This record is a reflection of our staff's dedication to finding the owners of unclaimed property, and improving efficiencies within the office," Zweifel said. "Our efforts have helped put more than $25 million back into the hands of Missourians during a time of nearly unprecedented economic hardship."

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.