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SUNY New Paltz Students Find $40,000 in Old Couch

Photo courtesy of FBI/Newsmakers

Imagine picking up a couch in a thrift store for $20 and instead of getting an infestation of bedbugs you wound up with a small fortune?  That’s exactly what happened to a SUNY New Paltz student and 2 friends.

Geology student Reese Werkhoven, Mount Holyoke College graduate Cally Guasti and SUNY New Paltz alum Lara Russo were faced with a moral dilemma after finding $40,000 stuffed into the old couch: keep the money or try and return it to it’s rightful owner?

According to The Little Rebellion, a SUNY New Paltz campus website, the trio found an envelope in the couch with a name on it, and that was the moment they realized they had to try and find out who the money rightfully belonged to.

The woman who sold the couch wished to remain anonymous, but told The Little Rebellion how the money wound up in the couch:

Her husband had had a heart condition and knew his time was limited. Before he died, he gave her money each week to put away for when he passed.  For 30 years she stored her savings inside an old couch in the television room where she slept.  When her husband passed away, she remained working as a florist and continued to store her money in the couch, until she had an operation on her back and went to a rehabilitation center for several months.

The students received a lump sum of $1,000 for their good deed.

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