FRANKFORT, KY (October 4, 2022) – Attorney General Daniel Cameron released a statement following the conclusion of oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Arkansas v. Delaware. In this suit, Kentucky, along with 29 attorneys general, seek to have more than $250 million in unclaimed funds returned to the respective states of the coalition. Currently, the State of Delaware holds the funds. The Arkansas Office of the Attorney General argued on Monday, October 3 before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the coalition.
"Federal law in this area doesn't allow any one state to secure such a financial windfall," said Attorney General Cameron. "We joined this coalition to ensure dollars that belong to Kentucky are returned to the Commonwealth, and we hope that the Supreme Court will side with our multi-state coalition in this case."
The lawsuit between the multi-state coalition and Delaware centers on which state is entitled to funds from unclaimed "official checks" sold by MoneyGram, a money transfer services company that operates internationally and in all 50 states. Under the Federal Disposition Act, proceeds from unclaimed money orders, traveler's checks, and similar items must be turned over to the state where the item was purchased. Despite federal law, Delaware, the state where MoneyGram is incorporated, has insisted that the company turn over to it hundreds of millions of dollars in unclaimed funds.
"As the watchdog of taxpayer dollars, I work diligently to return missing money to its rightful owners," said Treasurer Ball. "Kentucky deserves their correct share of these dollars; I am hopeful the Supreme Court will side with our coalition."
In 2016, Arkansas led a bipartisan lawsuit against Delaware in the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court then appointed a special master, Judge Pierre N. Leval of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, to oversee the case and recommend a resolution. Judge Leval determined that the U.S. Supreme Court should resolve the case in favor of the multi-state coalition led by Arkansas. Following this decision, Delaware filed objections to Judge Leval's recommendation. The oral arguments presented yesterday will assist the U.S. Supreme Court in deciding whether to accept or modify the special master's recommendation.
The coalition is led by Arkansas, with a leadership group from California, Texas, and Wisconsin. Attorney General Cameron was also joined in the multi-state coalition by attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.