South Carolina Holds Secret $1.8 Billion Mystery Fund

South Carolina has an issue that many governments — and taxpayers — would like to share. The state possesses $1.8 billion in a bank account with no knowledge of why it was deposited and what it was earmarked for.

According to CBS News, officials discovered the funds that accumulated in the financial institution for over a decade. State Sen. Larry Grooms (R) leads the investigation into the matter by a Senate panel, and he compared the discovery to finding a vault filled with treasure.

Only, the discoverer has no idea who the rightful owner may be.

The South Carolina government is no stranger to questionable finances and sometimes shoddy bookkeeping. Just last year, the state’s chief accountant resigned after the discovery of a massive $3.5 billion clerical error.

Funds were apparently being double-posted in state higher education accounts.

Grooms told the Daily Gazette that the mysterious bank account was swept under the rug away from public view for years. He attributed the startling revelation to official neglect.

Now it is being scrutinized by state and private accountants, and while the bookkeeping error revealed last year was all on paper, this uncovered account involves cold hard cash.

According to state Senate leaders, there was a flawed system in place to handle instances in recent years when the books did not balance. They said that funds were simply shifted from other areas into the account to reach the desired totals.

This is hardly responsible stewardship of taxpayer’s money.

As of now lawmakers are clueless as to what the $1.8 billion was intended for, and state leaders say they have not seen records to clear up the mystery.

Republican Gov. Henry McMaster agreed that the discovery “does not inspire confidence.” He added that the more pleasant news is “no money was lost.”

Treasurer Curtis Loftis told investigators he wrote checks for the state and placed money in the nebulous account. The deposited funds earned almost $200 million in interest, though no one knows which South Carolina entity stands to benefit.

Loftis was asked why he did not inform the General Assembly of the money just sitting there. He said that was not his office’s responsibility.