More money is set to pour into the $300 million estate of the late copper heiress Huguette Clark after a bank reported an unclaimed checking account in her name.
More than two years after Clark died at the age of 104 in May 2011, JPMorgan Chase told the state Comptroller’s Office that it has been sitting on a pile of her cash.
Officials in the office refused to say how much money is involved.
But the estate’s attorney — who had been litigating the case since before Clark died and had never heard of that account — said Chase told him that it was “not an insignificant” amount.
The lawyer, John Morken, said that it was a total mystery why Chase waited until this year to report the unclaimed funds.
A spokeswoman for Chase told The Post that it was the estate’s job to contact the bank about the money.
She declined to comment on specifics of the Clark funds. But she said that the bank contacts its clients about such matters only after an account has been inactive for more than three years.
Clark was a frequent customer of the bank, writing checks to her nurse ranging from $20,000 to $500,000, and even overdrawing the account in staggering amounts — including by $49,000 in 2004.
A source told The Post that the heiress’ untouched account was at a local Chase branch.
The source said it was not uncommon for wealthy clients like Clark to work with both the private side of the bank — where she made larger transactions — and the retail side at her neighborhood Manhattan branch.
A court-appointed attorney is working with the bank to transfer the assets into Clark’s estate.
Whatever is in the dormant checking account will go to the Bellosguardo Foundation — an arts and cultural nonprofit at Clark’s $85 million Santa Barbara, Calif., mansion that also houses her $1.7 million doll collection, according to court documents.
Huguette was the eccentric, doll-obsessed daughter of railroad baron, copper king and US Sen. William Clark, whose fortune rivaled that of the Carnegies and Rockefellers.
Her estate reached a settlement over a disputed will with 19 of her distant relatives in September, but its executors are still embroiled in a $105 million lawsuit with Beth Israel Hospital, where the heiress lived for the last 20 years of her life.
The executors charge the hospital and one of its doctors with keeping the heiress “sequestered from the world” so they could siphon millions of dollars in rent and gifts from her.
Beth Israel “officials deliberately kept Huguette’s status as a patient secret from the hospital’s legal department and state regulators in order to keep here there and access her money,” court papers say.
New funds in ‘lost’ account of late heiress Huguette Clark
December 2, 2013
New York Post