State Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot has transformed from Maryland’s “Most Interesting Man” to the brilliant detective mind of “Sherlock Franchot.”
The comptroller stars in spoof videos that call attention to the annual publication of a list of unclaimed property accounts.
Last year Franchot appeared as “The Most Interesting Man in Maryland,” spoofing a series of commercials for Dos Equis beer.
In a Victorian turn, Franchot this year dons a deerstalker hat and carries a Calabash pipe, backed by voiceover:
Your lost property and he are bound together on a journey that will twist the very fabric of your finances.
If the wording seems somewhat familiar, staff for the comptroller tell us that the line was lifted from a preview for the 2009 Sherlock Holmes feature film.
All kitsch aside, the ad is meant to highlight some pretty serious business.
Every year, the comptroller is legally required to publish a list of abandoned financial property–bank accounts and insurance policies—held by the office. The list stands at more than 1 million accounts containing nearly $1 billion in assets that can be claimed at any time. There is no statute of limitations.
Andrew Friedson, director for the Office of the Comptroller, said the timing of the publication of the list of names in the newspaper is meant to correspond generally with tax season and to catch people before they wander off for vacation.
In addition to the ads running in papers around the state, the comptroller’s office maintains a searchable database of assets at MarylandTaxes.com.
On a side note: As with James Bond, there is a debate over which is the best Holmes. Clearly the comptroller is a Basil Rathbone man. We here at Eye on Annapolis prefer Robert Downey Jr. No offense intended to the comptroller.