SPRINGFIELD - Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs today reminded military families that the treasurer’s office holds more than 100 military medals that were surrendered as unclaimed property.

The medals, typically forgotten inside a bank safe deposit box or abandoned at a storage facility, were surrendered to the state treasurer’s office after there had been no contact with their owners for at least five years.

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“Memorial Day is a time to honor the sacrifices of our military members and their families,” Frerichs said. “These medals are a daily reminder of the sacrifices that others have made for our country. No action would give me a greater honor than to continue our successful efforts to reunite these medals with their proper owners.”

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Since 2015, Frerichs has returned five Purple Heart Medals, along with other military medals and paperwork. The treasurer’s office has more than 100 unclaimed military medals. Military medals are never auctioned and are kept until the owners or family members are found.

The Illinois treasurer’s office is the custodian of unclaimed property including lost bank accounts, insurance policy proceeds, and forgotten safe deposit boxes. Items are surrendered after private entities tried for at least five years to locate the owners. Because thousands of items are surrendered each year, residents should check I-Cash every six months. Visit www.illinoistreasurer.gov/ICASH. Frerichs’ office never charges money to search for unclaimed property.

About the Illinois Treasurer

The Illinois Treasurer is the state’s chief investment officer and Frerichs is a Certified Public Finance Officer. He protects consumers by encouraging savings plans for college or trade school, increasing financial education among all ages, and removing barriers to a secure retirement. As the state’s Chief Investment Officer, he actively manages approximately $28 billion. The portfolio includes $13 billion in state funds, $10 billion in college savings plans and $5 billion on behalf of local and state governments. The investment approach is cautious to ensure the preservation of capital and returns $28 to the state for every $1 spent in operations. The Treasurer’s Office predates Illinois incorporation in 1818. Voters in 1848 chose to make it an elected office.

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