Ethics: Do You Keep the Unclaimed Lost Money?

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What would you do Wednesday!

One busy day while picking something up at a shopping mall, you find a green envelope full of $20 bills. The parking lot was full, but no one was around at the moment. You count the money and find that there is $1,500 total.

Instead of keeping it, you do the right thing and turn it in to the police department. The police give you a receipt. They then explain that if you no one claims the money after 30 days you can bring the receipt in and claim it yourself.

You wonder if this is God’s answer to prayer because your finances have been very tight the last two months. You have had to take unpaid time off work with to take care of your sick spouse. The first month of winter brought a higher than normal gas bill and you had an unexpected car repair took another $300 extra.

So, you have been praying the Lord would provide a way to pay the mortgage on time so you don’t have a $50 late charge on top of  all the extra expenses given the short pay check. In fact, the $1,500 would help you catch up with an extra $100 to spare.

The 30 days goes by. No one claims the money. You arrive at the police station to make your claim. After signing a few forms , you are now legally declared the owner of the lost money. An officer hands you the green envelope with $1,500 cash inside.

As you are leaving, you over hear a story being told. Someone at another officer’s desk explains that they lost a green envelope at the shopping mall with $1,500 inside. The man explained that he had just driven home from Vegas the previous night with the $1,500 which he won gambling. He should receipts proving he had won the money in Vegas.

He tells the officer that the money must have fallen out of the trunk from his jacket pocket when he was putting items from the mall in the trunk. He then says that he needs the money for his young daughter.

What would you do?

  • Give the money back.
  • Keep the money and pay your bills.
  • Explain to the man you found the money, it’s now yours, and you’ll split it.
  • Explain the money is now yours, but give him a $20 bill and wish him luck.
  • Or….

Here I blog…

Mark

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The above article was posted on December 4, 2013 by Mark Lamprecht.
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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 paperhymn December 8, 2013 at 10:13 pm

I’d give the money to him. I’d be tempted to keep it, but I would want someone to do the same for me if i were in that situation, regardless of any technicalities.

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