The pending sale of the Syracuse Chiefs Triple-A baseball team to the New York Mets in some ways is becoming more of a business transaction for many Central New Yorkers than a sports story.
Thousands of people and businesses bought stock for $10 a share more than 50 years ago to support the fledgling ball club. But there’s one problem. Director of the Office of Unclaimed funds in the State Comptroller’s Office Lawrence Schantz says the team doesn’t know where 5,600 shares are.
"We're talking approximately 2,400 potential accounts...individuals, stores, unions, all different sorts of operations in the Syracuse area that bought shares back in the '60's. At some point, the ball club lost contact and was unable to locate these shareholders."
So, back in 2015, the team turned over the shares to the state. He says it’s not an unusual move for dormant stocks and securities. But the Chiefs are making an offer.
"This is a unique situation where the Chiefs had these shares that were abandoned. But they agreed if those shareholders came forward before the sale of the club to the Mets, they would re-issue the shares."
Unclaimed shareholders have the opportunity to cash in on an estimated $1,400 - if they come forward before the November 27th deadline. However, Schantz saysthey will need to prove they are the rightful owner. Once complete, those unclaimed shares will then be re-issued in time for the proposed sale to the Mets. But after November 27th, the shares can’t be re-issued and they would only be worth $19.
"Our deadline to get any potential shares reissued back to the ball club is November 30th. So, we're cutting it very close, but we want to give the Syracuse community as much time as possible."
If you're owed an inheritance, you may want to check to see if a loved ones' name is also listed. A list of abandoned accounts can be found on the state comptroller’s website. If you find your name or that of a relative, Schantz says the quickest way to make a claim is by calling 1-800-221-9311.