DOVER, Del. — A recent federal ruling upholds Delaware’s unclaimed property practice.

The News Journal of Wilmington reports Delaware is allowed to continue digging through companies’ records to find unclaimed property. The “escheat” practice works by allowing the government of the state a company is based in to claim uncollected property that’s owed to the company after a set period. The property can range from gift cards to stock dividends. The practice added $554 million to the state’s revenue last year.

The U.S. Appeals Court in Philadelphia has ruled Delaware can audit out-of-state subsidiary books of state-based companies. But the practice’s future remains uncertain as a whistleblower case accusing dozens of retailers of scheming to deprive the state of unclaimed property is still pending.

State escheator Brenda R. Mayrack declined the newspaper’s request for comment.

Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del.,

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