Cabbie Returns $200,000 in Cash Left in His Cab

Adam Woldemariam, a Las Vegas cabbie originally from Ethiopia, found a black laptop case in the back of his case one night. When he opened it, he discovered a massive pile of cash… Over $200,000 worth.

Woldemariam returned the case immediately to the office of his cab company, where the owner of the case showed up an hour later to find it.

While we know returning the cash is the right thing to do, it’s hard to imagine that we’d all be able to be a strong as Woldemariam.

Good man, Adam.

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  1. There’s no reason to assume this was pure and saintly altruism. Think about it–If someone left that much money behind, you can be absolutely certain they’ll return to try and find it, and raise a HUGE stink if they can’t. Your boss will be contacted; you will be interrogated. These things are all certain.

    It just makes good sense to turn it in to lost-n-found or the equivalent, to avoid getting yourself into serious hot water. No disrespect to Mr. Woldemariam, but I don’t see why we’re nominating him for sainthood either.

    • Thank you for response CopyLeft,
      What you wrote rang of a moral question beyond right and wrong. You brought motive to the discussion. I went into my chamber and came up with Dant’e descending into the depths of hell. It’s been a long time since I’ve read the story, but still I don’t recall him coming across a single condemned soul who earned condemnation by returning found money. The greedy, the spendthrifts, and the obsessively frugal are mentioned as guests of Satan though. I appreciate your thoughtfulness in weighing the possible consequences whereas I can be impulsive.

  2. Good luck explaining the the IRS your 200k bump in salary.

    • Hey Dino, and thank you for taking the time to respond. First, a question: if the money was found, how would the IRS know? And second, a follow-up comment: we never hear about the people who find large amounts of cash and do not turn it in.

      • Say the Cabbie, who makes $50,000 a year (i have no idea how much cabbies make) goes out and buys a house and a car that are way out of his price range for his occupation, with cash. He is going to have to explain where that money came from because he is going to have to pay taxes on it. I can see where if he just kept it and made smaller purchases he could probably get away with it though.

  3. SpaceyWildstation says:

    I read stories like this and I begin to believe that something is wrong with me. Not only would I not return the money, I would fall on my knees and thank Jesus! Asking for the wisdom to handle such windfall. I’d buy a coat, quit my job and finalize 2 divorces, thinking much about the lady I am with right now.
    Maybe fear drove Mr. Waldemariam to do what he did. He may have thought he was being set up and could lose his job. One thing is for sure and two are for certain: he has to be second guessing his choice, and there is a good chance that some member of his family are very disappointed.
    Such a thing could cause a divorce. What if my girlfriend came home and opened the conversation with, “Well hon, I’ve got some good news and some bad news.”
    While I might say something more pro-social, I would be thinking something along the lines of: F-N Bitch wants me to break my F-N back at this thankless, M-F job. After a month or three of thinking about it, I’d be outta here. And more than a few of my friends would understand. I’d be talking about some dumb ass shit like that for the rest of my life. Thank Goodness my girlfriend didn’t find $200,000 and turn it in.

  4. I would definitely let the office of my cab company know that it was missing, but I don’t think I’d leave the suitcase with them because I’d be concerned that somebody would try to “share” the “lost” money. I would give it back though. $200,000 is too much to be playing with and if someone has that kind of cash, they clearly know what they’re doing and won’t forget about it. There’s not enough money in the world worth stealing (even if the money ended up being stolen).

  5. To me this all depends on the likelyhood of finding the rightful owner. If there is a chance to return it then by all means I will. But if not then it’s all mine.

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