I would like to present three scenarios and ask what you would do if you found yourself involved in one or all of these.
Scenario one: What would you do if you found a Social Security envelope on the ground that contained $1,200 in cash? The name of the recipient is clearly on the envelope and it probably represents the person’s living expenses.
Scenario two: What would you do if you found a satchel holding $2,000,000 in one hundred-dollar bills? There are no clues as to who the money belongs to, but it is obvious that this kind of money is in all likelihood illegal drug money.
Scenario three: What would you do if you found a bank bag in a ditch alongside the highway while you were changing a flat tire? The bank’s name is clearly printed on the bag and there is a small padlock on the zipper that opens the bag.
To make matters worse, you are destitute and the repo-man is looking for your car. You have no food or much gas in the car. Things couldn’t get worse and finding money would be a great temptation.
Scenario #1: I have heard of people finding envelopes and/or wallets containing money in which they located the rightful owner and returned the money. This simple act of honesty saved someone from going hungry and was appreciated beyond my ability to explain. Of course I have no idea how many have kept the prize saying, “Finders keepers…losers weepers.”
Scenario #2: The only time I heard of anyone finding $2,000,000 in a large satchel was in the movie, “No Country for Old Men.” In the movie, Josh Brolin finds such a satchel at a drug deal gone bad site. What happens to him and everyone connect to him should scare the hell out of anyone finding such a treasure. Javier Bardem, as the hit man hired by a drug cartel to recover the money, should convince even the most hardened thief to think twice about absconding with drug money, albeit two million is nothing but pure temptation. One other point to this scenario is that if you turn the money over to the police, the drug cartel is still going to kill you for doing that. Best leave it and get the hell out of the area post-haste.
Scenario #3: I do remember an unemployed man finding a bank bag along a road in California which contained well over $200,000. He returned the money to the bank and was offered a job which paid minimum wage. He and his whole family were constantly being threatened by people who thought he should have kept the money. He finally moved away from L.A. and dropped out of sight. I did try to Google this story, but I came up empty-handed.
You might be asking why I would waste time posting this blog when the scenarios are so hypothetical. Fair question and I wish I had an answer for you. I personally always fantasized about finding a large amount of money alongside the road, but then I would agonize over whether or not I would return the loot. There is no doubt I would return the Social Security money; it’s the right thing to do. The other two scenarios are not so cut and dried in my mind.
Let’s face it, we all have a little larceny in our blood whether you want to admit it or not. I always thought it would be great to keep the drug money so it wouldn’t buy more drugs. As for the banks, they have been stealing our money for decades! There is one problem with keeping ill – gotten gains – you can’t deposit it into your bank account. You would have to keep the cash hidden while using very little of it so as to not draw attention. Therein lies the rub…there is no doubt anyone who would keep the money would stay awake at night worrying about the cash. Is it safe? Has someone found the hiding place? Are drug dealers looking for me as I lie awake? Is the law coming to arrest me? Are the bills marked? Should I tell my wife? Is my family in danger? The list is endless.
You could not change your life in any way or someone might notice. What is the point? You can’t buy a yacht or flashy car. You can’t even spend over ten grand without the feds knowing about it. You would have to keep your stupid job…that’s it; I have had enough. Let someone else find the cash! If you do, please let me know how it is working out for you. Oh, wait a minute – you can’t do that now, can you? Someone might find the money you have stashed in the closet.
I’m just saying,