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Who Gets the Money?

A contractor finds a stash of cash inside a wall. Who gets the money, the person who found it, the homeowner, or the descendants of the person who left it there? The fight over just such a case has left all three parties with little money. Bob Kitts found $182,000 in the wall of Amanda Reece's bathroom. When the two couldn't agree on how to split the money, the resulting publicity alerted the family of Patrick Dunne, who hid the money when he owned the house decades ago.
Reece testified in a deposition that she spent about $14,000 on a trip to Hawaii and had sold some of the rare late 1920s bills. She said about $60,000 was stolen from a shoe box in her closet but testified that she never reported the theft to police.

Kitts said Reece accused him of stealing the money and began leaving him threatening phone messages. Marcinkevicius doesn't believe the money was stolen but said he couldn't prove otherwise.

A court has divided the remaining money, but the exact details were not published. http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hHJNCy_68fJtiIPaltzwBwynBdkAD94AUVCO0 -Thanks, Em!

(image credit: AP/Bob Kitts)

Saw this on the news actually, seems pretty ridiculous that the contractor would have any claim to the money at all. The homeowner owns the home and all that it contains, even if she didn't know all of the things that it contained.
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Ditto. If the cash is hidden in the wall and I buy the house, the cash is MINE!!! I bought an old home just hoping to find hidden treasure, but it looks like this house's inhabitants have been poor through the ages. :-(
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Just shows you how greedy people can get over money.
I don't see how the contractor thought they had any right to the money.
Or how the previous owner thinks they do either.
New homeowner owns everything that house contains once they bought the house... no ifs ands or buts.
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In Canada, ANYTHING left in the house once ownership passes to the buyer becomes property of the new owner. It's TS for the previous owner and obviously the idiot contractor!
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So we are all in agreement that the contractor gets nothing, and we agree that the decendents get nothing, but what I am wondering is how do you spend $14,000 on a vaction to Hawaii, I just went to Italy from California and I only spent $10,000, and I was vacationing in what I thought lavish means, and right now the exchange rate is horrible.
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Of course the descendents should get it! What would the guy who put it there prefer; for strangers to get it or his descendents? These people are very selfish.
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First of all, why did the contractor feel that he had the right to go looking at what it was. I mean if they were using your bathroom and they saw a box in the cabinet or behind the toilet or something, they don't have the right to look at it. And, you think the old guy who put it there would have remembered that.. I mean I think that is something you'd remember.. They were both idiots and for that they should get nothing. If they would have figured out where it came from they might have gotten some money out of it anyways..
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I think that the contractor should have been offered a cut, seeing as how it him who discovered it, he should have demanded, he should have been offered, but seems both of the people involved were greedy, which is sad.
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When we read this yesterday, my mother and I agreed that it would have been really hard for us to not seek out the original owners family. We would have been extremely curious as to why the cash had been hidden there. Also, how much worth did the individual bills have considering how rare they were?
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What I really want to know is this: How can someone be so mindless and forgetful to be able to leave close to $200,000 hidden and move out of the house without remembering to retrieve it?

I say, tough sh*t, guys. If you are stupid enough to forget all about the money and leave it behind then the money is fair game to whomever finds it.
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@ Cap. He didn't forget, he died. His 'descendants' claim it as theirs.

The contractor gets nothing, and has no right.

Legally, the home owner should get it all. She owns the house, and everything within it. (Including things in the walls, like support beams, the electrical wires, hidden money or whatever).

Morally, she might decided to give the money to the 'kids' of the guy who left it there. If it was some bauble that had only sentimental value, she probably would. But do the kids want it because its money or because 'that what he would of wanted'? Probably the former.
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Yeah, this story made no sense to me at all. The only person owning this cash should be the current homeowner. If she so chose, she *could* give the contractor a reward for his honesty in not sneaking off with it, but she'd be under no obligation to do so. I can't imagine decendents of the guy who owned the place 70 years ago having any claim. If the homeowner didn't wind up with everything, she has a TERRIBLE lawyer.
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I just want to know how to tax it.
Should the homeowner pay taxes now? Or more capital gains tax when she sells the house?
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She offered him 10% from the start, that is fair IMO but he wanted 40% so then the trouble started. She seems sort of shady because she says $60k was stolen from a shoe box but she did not report it to police. WTF?! If I'm missing one dollar I freak out.
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Mmm... Untaxable out-of-lawsuit liquid $60K went missing? How unfortunate!

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed”
Mahatma Gandhi
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who ever owns the house should get the money.

this only applies in the situation where the contractor was stupid enough to let the home owner know that he has found any money.
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Well, both are idiots. But what I wonder is how one spends Depression era banknotes (I guess she didn't just walk into the travel agency and pay her Hawaii trip with 1920s notes), and how much money they really were worth when adjusted for inflation.
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