Asset Recovery Law Firm Helps Multinational Conglomerate Find $1.5 Million Check That Went Unclaimed after M&A Transaction
COOPERSTOWN, NEW YORK — Robert Poulson, Partner, Poulson Law Offices, announced that his
firm recently recovered a $1.5 million check for a corporate client, a multinational conglomerate that
owns several hundred subsidiaries. Mr. Poulson said the unclaimed property — which is the largest single
item ever recovered for one client — got lost as the result of a record keeping error when the payee of a
government issued check was merged into a new company.
Mr. Poulson said the check had been missing from the company’s coffers for more than 30 years. “We
have recovered millions of dollars for other clients,” he said. “But recovering a $1.5 million lost check for
a client is very unusual. A single lost check can cost a company a lot of money. Without their asset
recovery lawyers, this money was likely lost forever.”
In or around 1999, the state’s financial agency issued a warrant for payment to a subsidiary of the client.
The warrant went astray, probably because the subsidiary was merged out. In time, the client’s record of
the receivable fell through the cracks. In 2020, when Poulson Law first began reviewing the forensics of
the client’s predecessor, the only record of the failed payment was that of the state’s unclaimed property
agency showing its receipt of the funds and a record that they were owed to the client’s predecessor.
“We discovered the item after a lengthy review of our client’s corporate structure and history,” Mr.
Poulson said. “The actual payee of the check was dissolved in 2004. Prior to that, it had gone through two
mergers and a name change.”
In order to recover the check and determine where it came from and who it went to, Mr. Poulson and his
client’s in-house counsel had to request access to all records going back before the business transactions
and name changes took place. The records were stored in what is known as Iron Mountain, one of the
largest repositories of corporate and government documents in the world.
“Fortunately, we were able to find the records of the dissolution and a resolution transferring all assets of
the dissolved company to its parent corporation — that is, our client,” Mr. Poulson said. “Without those
records, it’s unlikely we would have been able to recover the money.”
Mr. Poulson said that, many times, as a result of the disruption in corporate housekeeping caused by
mergers and corporate restructuring, receivables get lost in the shuffle and are often subsequently written
off when the old company’s records and employees are dispersed. Mr. Poulson said, “It may not seem
unreasonable to write off tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of unknown receivables as a
cost of a merger of billion-dollar companies. Without an active asset recovery effort, these receivables are
lost forever, as was almost the case with our client’s $1.5 million receivable. I am surprised by the
number of big-ticket receivables that get left behind in M&A transactions. I suspect that the acquiring
companies fully intend to go back and clean up those assets left behind. But on the ground, accounting
records do not always transfer cleanly, paper records are often misplaced or destroyed, and employees of
the acquired business often leave, sometimes in a huff.”
For more information, call (607) 547-1195 or visit www.poulsonlaw.com