Takeaways from Tallahassee — A billion-dollar fight over bonds – Florida Politics (blog)
A federal court’s ruling this week in Kansas has bolstered Florida’s lawsuit against the feds over U.S. savings bonds it holds as unclaimed property.
In 2016, then-Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater sued the feds for over $1 billion — the amount of all the bonds he held as unclaimed property.
He said the U.S. Treasury refused to make good on those bonds; current CFO Jimmy Patronis this week added it “has prevented (us) from securing full access to the bonds or owner information so that we could attempt to inform original owners.”
It isn’t just a Florida problem—it’s nationwide, with an estimated $19 billion in savings bonds being unclaimed.
In his weekly newsletter, Patronis said a judge of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, which adjudicates demands for payment from the federal government, “denied the federal government’s attempts to dismiss” a similar case in Kansas.
“In that ruling, the court also found that the Treasury had breached its contractual obligations with Kansas, and ordered the Treasury to give the state the information it needed to further its demands for Kansas bonds,” he said.
“It’s a victory for Kansas and for Florida because the ruling addressed several of the same arguments that we have made, and it allows us to finally move forward,” Patronis added.
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, shown here meeting with a Department of Financial Service law enforcement officer back in July, said a recent federal court ruling bolsters Florida’s lawsuit over U.S. savings bonds it holds as unclaimed property. (Photo via Jimmy Patronis’ Twitter)
The Department of Financial Services, which Patronis leads, did notch a victory earlier this year when the Treasury agreed to redeem just over 1,000 bonds, worth a little more than half a million dollars, excluding accrued interest.
The original complaint said the state