9 Strangest Places People Have Found Money!
Number 9, Ninja Burglar
Matthew Emanuel found a strange random box in his backyard in Staten Island, New York. At first, it seemed like an electrical box full of wires. But it was something else. It turned out to be safe that was filled with thousands of dollars in cash, as well as bags of different types of jewelry as well!
Emanuel had wondered for years if the big piece of metal that stuck out in his backyard was something that was actually worth his attention.
It wasn’t until a deer ate most of the leaves off the trees that surrounded the back of his house taking away the much-needed privacy.
Emanuel hired a landscaper to plant some bamboo to regain privacy.
But the box was in the way, so something finally had to be done about the box.
When the landscaper dug it up, he discovered that it was actually a safe.
They pried it open, and they were surprised to find several wads of cash and lots of bags of jewelry.
Emanuel counted the money and discovered that he had almost $52,000 dollars buried in his backyard for years!
But how did it get there in the first place?
He discovered an item that had an address written on it.
To his surprise, it turned out that the address was to a neighbor’s house just a few feet away!
He decided to drop in unannounced and ask them if they had lost or had been victims of a robbery.
His neighbors described exactly what was missing, and Emanuel brought them to his backyard, showing them their safe!
In 2011, Emanuel’s neighbors were one of the houses robbed during a highly public series of robberies that happened in the area.
The robberies were done by Robert Costanzo, who was nicknamed the Ninja Burglar by the press because of how many robberies he was able to do.
Costanzo was finally caught in 2016.
He admitted to investigators that he was responsible for more than a HUNDRED burglaries in the area where he stole more than $4 million dollars worth of other people’s property!
Number 8, Blue Drums
In 2015, Colombian farmer Jose Mariena Carlos was digging a trench on his property when he hit something weird.
He found several large big blue containers packed with cash.
When you’re in Colombia, you know exactly where that cash is from!
The question you’re probably wondering is did he get to keep it?
The answer is no.
The Colombian government confiscated it even though it was on his property.
Any money found that was clearly Pablo Escobar’s is being used by the Colombian government to enhance social and economic programs for the country.
Anyone that watched Netflix’s Narcos knows that in Pablo’s heyday, he was easily pulling in MILLIONS of dollars a day.
Supposedly, it was as much as 70 million dollars per day!
At one point in time, supposedly a fifth of all 100 dollar bills in existence was buried in Colombia!
All that money had to go somewhere, so Escobar simply just buried a ton of money all over Colombia, whether he owned the land or not.
Carlos’s family has owned the land where he found Pablo’s money for almost 200 years.
To this day, the Colombian government is still trying to find the hidden cash to Pablo’s empire, because there wasn’t exactly a treasure map that Pablo left for anyone!
Number 7, Valuable Cans
In 2008, Arizona couple Sarina Jennings and Clinton McCallum were in for a shock of a lifetime.
They discovered half a million dollars cash hidden inside their kitchen and bathroom walls!
Technically, they weren’t the ones who found it.
The contractor they had hired to do some remodeling in their house found the different cans of cash hidden throughout their home.
The company owner actually tried to keep the cash!
He didn’t want to tell the homeowners!
But his employee had already told the homeowners about finding the cash.
Jennings and McCallum wanted to keep the money themselves of course.
And that’s how the dispute began on who should keep the money.
Police eventually got involved and they then seized the money!
The legal battle that started after the discovery is worthy of a movie.
It became a giant “finder’s keepers” debate.
Both parties argued for their ownership of the cash.
But the court actually didn’t give either
That’s because, during their investigation, they found a third party involved and ruled in favor of them!
The original owner of the house was Robert Spann.
He had left his house to his two daughters, Kim and Karen, both of them very much alive at that time.
They knew about their father’s habit of hiding valuables.
Spann had a tendency to hide stocks and bonds, gold, and cash throughout his house!
After he passed away in 2001, the sisters decided to do a close inspection into his
house to find all the things they knew their dad was hiding.
Over the next seven years, the women found several cans full of cash and gold were hidden throughout the house.
But for some reason, looking inside the walls was something they never did.
The court ruled that the money ultimately had been misplaced and was never technically abandoned.
The Spann sisters were ultimately able to keep what was rightfully theirs!
However, the new owners DID file an appeal.
The court still made the same ruling!
Number 6, Good Samaritan
Glen James was walking around a Boston strip mall on a random weekend back in the summer of 2013.
That was when he found an abandoned black backpack.
He decided to take a peek inside just to see if he can find identification so he can turn it in.
However, when he peeked inside, he found something that he didn’t expect whatsoever.
That’s because he didn’t think anyone would leave $2400 dollars in cash, a passport, and almost $40,000 dollars in blank traveler’s checks just laying around!
Especially for James, who was homeless at the time!
Nope, not so fast.
James was really looking inside the bag so he could help give it back to the rightful owner.
And that’s what he did.
James took the unexpected route of notifying the police about what he found.
Police were able to track down the owner, a student from China who was visiting the US that summer.
The police themselves were really surprised by James’ gesture.
So much so that Boston Police Commissioner presented James with a special citation and a plaque for his honesty.
But that recognition didn’t help James’s tough living situation out at all.
That’s not until Virginia man Ethan Whittington heard about the news.
He was touched and amazed by James’s honesty and he wanted to help him out in the best way that he can.
He set up a GoFundMe for James.
In just a few days, more than 4,000 people from all over the world donated over $100,000 dollars!
Ultimately, the GoFundMe raised roughly 165 thousand dollars for James.
Whittington’s main interest was to help James get back and stay on his feet.
He wanted James to be financially stable and not just for a period of time.
Money wasn’t the only thing that James got.
Other people donated things such as free dental care and free counseling to help him to find and keep a job!
Number 5, Percentage Rules
Some people resort to pretty extreme ideas to make sure they’re putting money in a safe place.
One man from Sydney, Australia was exactly like that!
He wanted to keep his money as safe as possible.
So he decided to put it in the safest place he knew, which was….the oven?!
What happened next was so embarrassing to him, he didn’t want to be identified by the press!
In July of 2012, the Australian man sold his beloved Toyota Supra for the equivalent of $15,000 US dollars.
He was planning on using the money to pay off his mortgage, so he wanted to keep the money as safe as possible before he went to the bank.
That’s when he got the not so bright idea of putting the money in his oven!
He thought it would be fine because he never used the oven, and he never saw his wife using it either!
His wife DID use the oven, although rarely.
His wife randomly decided to cook some chicken nuggets in the oven that exact day he had put the money in there!
As she was preheating the oven, that’s when the oven started smoking excessively.
Since Australian currency is made of plastic, the bills melted together into a colorful, gooey mess.
Although this easily could have been a sad story, his bank was willing to replace the burnt money!
What he had left in the bills met the requirements of The Reserve Bank of Australia on damaged and incomplete banknotes.
The rules are, if less than 20 percent of a banknote is missing the full face value on the note is paid out.
However if between 20-80 percent of the note is missing, the value is paid in proportion with the percentage remaining.
If more than 80% of the note is missing, nothing is paid out at all.
Although this man’s bills were burnt, luckily for him, the bills were still more than 80% intact!
Number 4, Midas Touch
When his house was being cleared for sale after he passed away, Carson City Police in Nevada were extremely surprised to find millions of dollars worth of gold bars and coins in a very normal-looking house!
Maybe even more surprising is the fact that Samaszko passed away with just 200 dollars in his bank account.
No one had any clue that he was actually rich.
Samaszko was known to be a quiet homebody who didn’t go out much.
It took around a month for neighbors to notice that they hadn’t seen him for quite some time.
And that’s when they decided to notify the police, who discovered that Samaszko had passed because of a heart attack.
As his house was being cleared for sale, that’s when officials found dozens of gold bars and coins.
The gold coins were dated from the mid-1800s from places all over the world.
The combined value of the gold bars and coins amounted to around $7.4 million dollars!
But why didn’t he do anything with them or what’s the reason just to have it around?
Apparently, Samaszko seemed to be a bit of a conspiracy theorist.
He had no belief in the government and supposedly also avoided doctors because he didn’t believe in modern medicine.
The Gold wasn’t his only investment though.
Even though he had just 200 dollars in his bank account, he had over $165,000 dollars in stock accounts and an additional $12,000 dollars cash in the house.
So who ultimately got the money?
His first cousin Arlene Magdanz, a substitute teacher from California, was found to be the only heir of the fortune!
Number 3, The Wrong Fit
In 2013, Rabbi Noah Muroff from New Haven, Connecticut, bought a desk on craigslist for 150 dollars.
He and his wife loaded the desk into their minivan and drove home.
However, they couldn’t get the desk inside a narrow doorway for the room they wanted their new desk in.
This is when they decided to take apart the desk, even though they REALLY didn’t want to.
The desk was too big by just half an inch!
But they went ahead and did it anyway.
When they took off the two filing cabinets that were attached to the desk, they unexpectedly discovered a plastic bag.
The plastic bag was tucked away behind one of the drawers and it was totally inaccessible unless the desk was taken apart.
Inside the bag were a bunch of bills that added up to $98,000 dollars!
Muroff and his wife decided to call back the lady they bought the desk from and tell her about what they had found.
She was shocked that they called to try to return her cash!
It turns out the money was an inheritance that she had tucked away in the desk but she had simply completely forgotten about it.
Muroff and his wife drove to give the lady her the money back, but not without taking their four kids with them so they could learn an important lesson.
Although the Muroff’s were adamant about not receiving any type of reward, the woman decided to give back their $150 dollars they paid for the desk in return.
Number 2, “Covert Operations”
In Lagos, one of the largest cities in Nigeria, the director of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayodele Oke, was found with $43 and a half million US dollars in cash in an apartment his wife owned!
The cash was sealed in plastic and was hidden in filing cabinets and behind hidden panels.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, ordered a detailed investigation, since he was elected because of his promise to clean up government corruption.
The money was found inside filing cabinets wrapped in plastic and securely tucked behind some panels in a wardrobe.
Oke actually claimed that the money was gonna be used in a covert operation!
The money was only discovered by Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crime Commission officials after someone had reported that a suspicious woman was seen moving giant bags in and out of an apartment in the building.
But, the Nigerian President also received a lot of criticism because supposedly he would only arrest and prosecute Nigerian officials, such as Oke, from the opposition party!
The million dollar question is where the 43 and a half million dollars came from.
And how was Oke’s wife able to get over one and a half million dollars to buy the apartment in cash, as records had shown?
Oke was ultimately fired after it was discovered that his wife had bought the apartment using government funds that Oke had access to.
Do you know if Oke was ever found guilty of stealing?
Number 1, False Bottoms
Smuggling a lot of money is hard.
And it’s especially hard to smuggle almost 150 THOUSAND euros in cash in shoes!
That’s exactly what one unidentified Dutch woman did in Colombia!
Back in 2016, Colombian customs officials discovered a Dutch woman was carrying almost €150,000 euros in 4 different pairs of high platform shoes.
Each shoe had a double bottom and a high platform.
That’s where she inserted the euros, in 500 euro notes.
She was also carrying almost €6000 euros in her handbag.
She might have gotten away with her smuggling.
It was only because of her suspicious behavior that agents decided to pick her out for a random search as part of an anti-money laundering prevention program in Colombian airports!
Here’s what’s next!