Noah Muroff, a rabbi in New Haven, Conn., bought a desk he found listed on Craigslist and ended up discovering a bag filled $98,000 cash inside.
He then returned it to the woman he bought it from.
"The desk didn’t fit into this office by fraction of an inch,” Muroff said, explaining that he'd unscrewed the desktop to make it fit and made the discovery.
"Behind the drawers there is this plastic bag ... in that bag, I could already see through the bag, there’s it looks like a hundred dollar bill,” he recalled.
"We open it up and it's full of cash ... $98,000 in the bag. Right away my wife and I sort of looked at each other and said, ‘We can't keep this money.’"
The Muroffs knew that the money belonged to the original desk owner, who said that she bought the piece from Staples and assembled it herself.
So he called her and explained his find. The original owner, identified only as “Patty,” was speechless on the other end of the phone, only saying:
"Oh my gosh, because I... oh my God."
Patty said that she knew she stored the money she inherited in the desk, but she was unable to find it when it fell behind the desk’s filing drawer.
She assumed that the money was somewhere else in her home when she couldn’t locate it and sold the desk, never thinking it was still in there.
Rabbi Noah, a father of four young children and also a ninth grade Rabbi at Yeshiva of New Haven, brought his entire family along when he returned it.
It was an opportunity, he said, to teach his kids a lesson about honesty and truth. When they arrived, Patty refunded the $150 price of the desk.
She was overwhelmed with the family’s good deed and wrote them a note saying, “I can't thank you enough for your honesty and integrity."
"I do not think there are too many people in this world that would have done what you did by calling me,” ending the note, “I will be forever grateful.”