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Winters Couple Gets Back Investments Taken By The State

WINTERS (CBS13) - An eight-month-long battle is finally over for a Winters couple who had trouble getting their investments back from the state of California.

They decided to call Kurtis after their investments ended up with the state after it deemed the investments were unclaimed property.  There was $275,000 in stock and another $50,000 in cash taken from the couple's Charle's Schwab account.

"It's pure theft," said Eugene Breznock.

It happened all because Ann and Eugene Breznock didn't touch their account for three years or any have contact with Charles Schwab. The state then required Schwab to transfer the assets to the state's unclaimed property program for safekeeping.

But the Breznocks learned it's not so easy to get their property back.

"I can't tell you how many nights I've been awake thinking of what a rotten this system this was and how long it's gonna take me to get back to be able to use my funds for the needs that I need it for," said Eugene.

The state claimed it had six months from their request to return the money.
After we got involved in May, the state immediately returned the cash and claimed to return the $275,000 in stock within five days. But the couple says it just now showed back up into their account.

"This is unconstitutional stealing," said attorney William Palmer.

Attorney William Palmer says the program has turned into California's fifth-largest revenue stream -- twisted from its original purpose: to protect property when people become "lost and unknown."

The Breznocks say they didn't move and didn't abandon their money, and are appalled over the state program.

"That they take money from people as old as we are -- that we have saved and sweated blood for -- I mean that's a lot of nerve!" he said.

Why did the state take so long to transfer the stocks back? The state uses transfer agents and Eugene describes that as a

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