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State Treasurer Vivek Malek Talks Priorities, Reviews First Weeks In Office During Missouri Press Association Day At The Capitol

Friday, February 24, 2023
Treasurer's name

News Release

For Immediate Release

Friday, February 24, 2023


State Treasurer Vivek Malek Talks Priorities, Reviews First Weeks In Office During Missouri Press Association Day At The Capitol

Contact: Kern Chhikara



(Jefferson City, Mo.) – State Treasurer Vivek Malek reflected on his first five weeks in office and laid out his top priorities during an appearance before the Missouri Press Association in the State Capitol.

“A top priority is promoting our Unclaimed Property Program – and setting a record for returning Missourians’ property. Second, I want to expand the MO ABLE program to help more citizens with disabilities save to cover costs of their special needs. Third, I want to continue to grow Missouri’s K-12 scholarship program MOScholars, which gives parents more options to make the best educational choices for their children,” Treasurer Malek told the MPA during its annual Day at the Capitol on Thursday.

Treasurer Malek was sworn in Feb. 17 as Missouri’s 48th State Treasurer. He was appointed by Gov. Mike Parson to succeed Scott Fitzpatrick, who was elected Missouri State Auditor.

During his first five weeks in office, Treasurer Malek said he has been impressed with the dedication and hard work of the State Treasurer’s Office career staff, some of whom have been serving Missouri’s citizens for more than 30 years.

Treasurer Malek noted his administration has already set an office record, returning its first $1 million in unclaimed property to its owners during his first three days on the job. The previous record was nine days set in 2019.

Missouri State law requires financial institutions, insurance companies, public agencies and other businesses to turn over unclaimed financial assets and safe deposit boxes to the Treasurer’s Office. This happens after there has been no contact with the owner or transactions over a period of time laid out in law, usually five years.

Treasurer Malek currently manages more than $1.3 billion in unclaimed assets in over six million owner accounts.  One in ten Missourians have unclaimed property, and the average return is nearly $300.  “Our citizens pay their hard-earned tax dollars into Missouri government, so it’s a good thing when Missouri government gives them something back,” Treasurer Malek said.

Unclaimed Property can be searched and claimed on

Treasurer Malek is also promoting the MO ABLE program, which assists Missourians with eligible disabilities to save money for their everyday needs, invest in a tax-free account and prepare for their future without losing state or federal disability benefits. Missourians may learn more at

MOScholars was established by the Missouri General Assembly in 2021 to provide educational options to Missouri students and families. The law provides for state tax credits for contributions to approved, non-profit Education Assistance Organizations (EAOs). These EAOs use the contributions to award scholarships to eligible Missouri students.

MOScholars does not reduce the funding received by a student’s resident school district. Instead, student scholarships are funded with private donations leveraged by state tax credits.

“MOScholars is for cases where a child is not getting enough help in school; The program allows parents to send their child to a private school to meet their needs. I’m a believer in education as a key to achieving a child’s God-given potential,” Treasurer Malek said.

Treasurer Malek also shared with the visiting MPA members some of the history of the State Treasurer’s Office.

For example, Treasurer Malek, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in India, noted that he is the fourth immigrant to serve as Missouri Treasurer. The first treasurer, John Peter Didier, was believed to be born in France in 1748. The 10th and 21st treasurers, William Dallmeyer and Jacob Gmelich, were both born in Germany in the early 19th century.

Malek also noted that early treasurers kept the state’s money in containers such as iron barrels and wooden chests. The fourth state treasurer, John Walker, who took office in 1833, lived in a small log cabin in Jefferson City that also served as his office. He reportedly kept the state’s money safe by putting it inside a oak chest bound with iron, then sleeping on top of the chest.

“Treasurer Walker’s approach reminds me of the ‘Peanuts’ cartoon, with Snoopy sleeping on top of his doghouse. Obviously, the State Treasurer’s Office has been modernized over the two centuries since Missouri statehood,” Treasurer Malek quipped.




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