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State audit says Niagara County courts are keeping unclaimed funds

LOCKPORT – A state audit released Thursday said Niagara County must pay $251,392 from court and trust accounts, mostly funds left over from old estate cases in Surrogate’s Court, to the Comptroller’s Office by April 10.

The money, which derived from 71 cases dating back to 2009, can be kept by the county only for three years and then goes to the state as unclaimed property, the audit said.

County Treasurer Kyle R. Andrews said the money was deposited in the accounts by court order, and those orders said the money was “not to be released without further order of the court.” Andrews said he followed that instruction to the letter.

Other than that, the state review of the court and trust funds found the records “generally up to date and complete, and we found no material discrepancies.”