If You Found $388k In Cash At Your Worksite, Would You Keep It?

Do you subscribe to the "finders keepers/loser weepers?" school of law?

Here's a hypothetical: you're working on a build site, digging up dirt and rocks. Your back is sore, your knees are throbbing, you're working in the oppressive Queensland heat, and you've had an absolute gutful. But that's your job and we all gotta work so you grin and bear it, counting down the minutes and dreaming about beer-o'clock. Suddenly you find nearly half a million dollars in paper money, buried in a plastic container. What do you do?

If the answer was anything other than "run home and tell my family I'm f--king loaded!" then you're better than me.  I would be on the first plane to Hawaii, or Disneyland, or wherever the coronavirus hasn't hit yet.

Well not so for two Queensland tradies. This exact scenario happened to them when they found $388k in cash and another $100k in cash that had mostly deteriorated. They could have just knicked of with it. It was old paper money so it's been there since at least the early 90s, surely the owner is long-gone? You can still change your paper money over at the bank, just keep it and no-one has to know right?

Nope. These two tradies did what they thought was the right thing: they handed their haul into the police.  In doing so they lodged a claim that if the money's rightful owner cannot be found, they would legally keep it. But when their boss, one Mr. Shane Grimwood found out, he was livid and fired them on the spot.

But the plot thickens. Mr. Grimwood, the owner of the construction company was hired by landowner and property developer, the unfortunately named: Scott Morrison.

No not that one. A different one.

And ScoMo 2.0 is claiming that the money is his because it was found on his land. Grimwood wanted to split the money with him, but ScoMo Jnr declined, instead lodging a claim for the full amount.

And then the son of a former owner of the land came forward, as well as the ATO, and some 80 year old man who claims he was defrauded back int he 80s and this amount of money seems about right. It's a whole big mess. The supreme court will be weighing in on it soon and it seems like everyone and their dog has a claim.

But I say: let the tradies keep it. Give it to the blokes who broke their backs, lost their jobs, and did the right thing by handing it in. Or give it to me. Actually yeah, that idea sounds best.