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Iowa treasurer returns more than $12K to American Red Cross

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald has returned more than $12,000 to the American Red Cross — one of thousands to see unclaimed property held by the state turned over to rightful owners.

Fitzgerald presented a check for $12,300 Thursday to the humanitarian assistance group.

Fitzgerald's office says more than $377 million in unclaimed property in Iowa is waiting to be claimed. That included more than $61 million in Polk County alone.

The program has returned over $263 million to more than 592,000 people since Fitzgerald started the program in 1983.

Unclaimed property refers to money and other assets held by financial institutions or companies that have lost contact with the property's owner. State law requires them to annually report unclaimed property to the state treasurer's office.