Buyer finds £130k in cabinets bought on eBay – but returns the money

Buyer finds £130,000 CASH in second-hand kitchen cabinets he bought on eBay for £240… but returns the money to its rightful owner

  • German social worker Thomas Heller, 50, paid just €300 (£203) for the cabinets
  • Yet he found a secret stash of €150,000 (£126,000) – 500 times that – in a drawer
  • But instead of pocketing the money, Good Samaritan Thomas went to the police
  • The rightful owner, a 91-year-old, moved to a care home after her husband died
  • Thomas said: ‘A lot of €100 bills were looking at me’ 

A man found €150,000 (£126,000) in a second-hand cabinet he bought on eBay. 

Social housing worker Thomas Heller, 50, bought the kitchen shelves from an elderly couple’s house sale in Halle, east Germany after the owner moved into a care home.

But days after making the purchase on April 14, Mr Heller found two cash boxes hidden away inside the oak veneer cupboards.

He said: ‘The piece was supposed to cost €300 (£253). But we were able to negotiate the price down [to] €240 (£203).’

Thomas Haller, who haggled the price of the cabinets down £50, found the cash deep inside

He said: ‘A lot of €100 bills were looking at me’. Pictured: another cash stash dug out by police

The stunned buyer then spotted the two parcels which together contained almost £130,000 in cash, apparently stuffed away and forgotten.

Thomas said: ‘One was open and a lot of €100 bills were looking at me.’

But instead of pocketing the cash, he took it straight to local police.

Thomas said: ‘They opened the second, locked cupboard in front of my eyes. There were larger bills in the envelopes. Two hundred, five hundred.’

Amazed by the amount of money and the man’s honesty, police took the case to the district court and began an investigation to find the kitchen’s original owner.

Police spokesperson Astrid Kuchta said: “The kitchen came from a household liquidation by an elderly couple from Halle.”

The investigation revealed that the money belonged to a 91-year-old woman who moved into a retirement home after her husband passed away.

Mr Haller handed the money into police as soon as he found it. He is pictured with officer Astrid Kuchta (left), who discovered the money belonged to a 91-year-old woman in a home

The two small envelopes (pictured) contained vast sums beyond Thomas’s wildest dreams

It was the elderly couple’s grandson who sold Thomas the cabinets, the probe found. He had no idea about the money, he told newspaper MDR.

Under German law, it is criminal embezzlement to keep found cash worth €10 (£8.50) or more. Offenders can face up to three years behind bars.

But thanks to a Good Samaritan clause, Thomas is eligible for a three per cent finder’s fee. That’s €4,500 (£3,784).

Mr Haller did not reveal how he plans to spend the reward.

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