The family that threw away $100,000

This had to hurt. As far as I can tell, they never did find the lost money.

I wonder if Doug faced any kind of punishment. Though arguably it's the mother's fault for storing such valuable financial documents in a laundry basket.

NY Daily News - July 3, 1970

Richmond Palladium Item - July 2, 1970

     Posted By: Alex - Wed Sep 25, 2019
     Category: Money | 1970s

I don't know when the transition was made to all stock being basically bearer instruments, but at least up to 1964, companies kept track of who owned their stock. They had to notify each stockholder directly of the time and location of the annual meeting. They also had to be able to show regulators who owned what percentage of the company. At the time, recording the numbers on share certificates as they were transferred was a very boring but very stressful job.

As for the land deeds, county assessors keep very good track of who owns what -- she'd only have to wait for the next tax bill. If it was newly-acquired property, her cancelled checks would show whom she paid and get them to sign quit-claim deeds.

Once it became known the checks were lost, all anyone had to do was wait a few months for it to become a stale check and write her a new one.

I don't know why, but I strongly suspect the boy pocketed the cash because he only got crumbs for all his hard work and wanted a little payback.

I'm not sure how much blame I'd lay on her for putting the deposit there because I once found my reading glasses in the refrigerator and my book in a laundry basket. I can't for the life of me reconstruct what led to that, but I'm sure it seemed like a good idea at the moment.
Posted by Phideaux on 09/25/19 at 08:35 AM
Stocks became bearer instruments? Companies have to keep track of who owns their stock because of voting rights. Maybe they don't for non-voting stock, but that's rare. These days hardly anyone keeps stocks in certificate form.
Posted by ges on 09/25/19 at 10:25 AM
I've haven't bought/sold shares on a stock exchange for almost 50 years, so what I understand about how it's done these days is probably seriously flawed.

What shares I still own are in small companies (the certificates are in a safe deposit box I haven't visited in years). I remember there being on the back of at least some of them places to sign it over to someone else. I know the most recent one I bought (circa 1985) says "Bearer" on it, and it's missing the assignment thing on the back (yes, I'm sure it's stock and not a bond -- it's 50 shares out of 5,000 issued).
Posted by Phideaux on 09/25/19 at 07:10 PM
I have recent experience with this, and I'd say that stocks are now "basically bearer instruments" is the right way to put it. I wanted to sell some stock, but I had lost one of the certificates. The certificate had been issued directly to me, in the mail, thru a NYSE Co's ESOP. Perhaps there was an option when I signed up for the ESOP, way back whenever, for me to identify a broker to hold these certificates. If so, I didn't give them a broker's name, so they started coming directly to me.

It did surprise me when I was told I had to physically have the certificate to sell it; it wasn't what I remember from long ago. After I protested, the agent sent me a special form, to be notarized and returned; then all was ok. I'm sure it helped that I had a separate record of the certificate number, from other documents the Co. gave me.

Of course, the Co. or it's agent keeps records of who owns every share, for all the reasons you guys mention. But the onus was on me to produce the certificates to sell them.

I'm thinking, in 1970, before computers were everywhere and when stock certificate records weren't 'outsourced', these people where fine with any lost stock. That forlorn look in the newspaper picture didn't hurt a bit, either.

Why would anyone with a correct brain throw out the laundry? The boy snatched the cash. Throw him out next.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 09/26/19 at 06:40 PM
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