Burke Co. searching for people due refunds

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News 12 at 6 o' clock/ March 4, 2014

BURKE COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) -- You may be entitled to a refund you didn't even know about.

Burke county is trying to track down a list of people who have paid cash bonds over the years to bail people out of jail. It turns out a lot of people never claimed the cash once the suspect appeared in court.

Merv Waldrop, the Burke County Administrator explains, "We had some of these old items on the books and we wanted to clean up our records."

Burke County has been trying to track down a list of people for the past year now, to refund their bond money.

"They're not in any trouble. That's what we want to emphasize. Your name on that list means you're due a refund and may have some money coming to you," he said.

When a suspect gets locked up, a lot of times, friends and family members will post a property bond or go through a bond company to bail them out. Sometimes , the bond is just paid in straight up cash. But, that money isn't gone forever. The bond poster gets it back as soon as the suspect shows up to court on time.

The Burke County Sherriff's Office shared the list of names on Facebook, in hopes of returning bond money, some of which totals $2,000.

It turns out it's harder to give people their money back than you might think. Some of the abandoned bonds date back quite a few years.

"Some of them go way back like 30 years ago," he said.

And, if the rightful owners are never found, Waldrop says, "I think eventually we would have to turn it over to the state as unclaimed property. So what we're trying to do is get it to the people it rightfully belongs to."

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