FAQ about undistributed funds

The news has extensively covered the fine we paid New York State for mishandling unclaimed funds. We are embarrassed by our failure to handle this right, and apologize to any current or former customers who were affected. We did not follow current regulations. It was wrong. It should not have happened.

We’ve taken calls from customers who are wondering about different aspects of this, and have put these answers together for you. Also, we want to clarify some aspects that may have been misrepresented in some of the reports floating around. Of course, if you’d like to discuss anything about this, please call our office at 845-297-5580.

How do I find out whether I am owed any money?

NY State will be sending out letters to anyone impacted. You can also call our office at 845-297-5580 or email us at funds@bottinifuel.com. However, if you want to call the AG’s office directly, the number is 212-416-8751.

How many people were affected?

A very small percentage of our customer base. Only 67 current residential customers were impacted, and the list of former customers was also small relative to the total number of people we serviced over that time.

If I am one of these people, how much am I owed?

It depends on how much was left in your account. The median amount for residential customers is $40, meaning half are owed more and half are owed less.

How do I know I’m not owed more?

An outside auditor was brought in to conduct a comprehensive examination of the accounting records to ensure the amount is accurate.

Why can’t you send me the money?

New York State required us to send all of the funds to them, and we are following the process they laid out.

What time period does this involve?

It covers transactions from 2004 – 2016.

What went wrong?

For residential customers, this mostly arose from our failure to pass along money to NY State that was left sitting in customers’ accounts when they closed their account. During that same time period, we did return over $7 million dollars in unclaimed funds, almost 5x the amount of money that is now at issue. Our mishandling was the exception, not the rule.

How do I know this won’t happen again?

We absolutely regret the mistakes we made, have made full restitution of the funds in question, and have paid a fine equal to that amount.

Starting in 2016, we began putting safeguards in place to ensure we are 100% compliant with state regulations. This includes hiring an outside monitor to review our processes and procedures and handling of all unclaimed funds.

Why Is there anything else we should know?

For more than 60 years, Bottini has come through for customers in all sorts of hazardous winter conditions, in order to keep Hudson Valley homes and businesses warm. We have supported numerous charities and employ over 300 terrific, dedicated employees. We will learn from this experience, but hope it does not overshadow decades of honest and effective service to Hudson Valley residents.