Man buys cheap desk on Craigslist, finds $98,000 inside

A Connecticut man snags an online shopping bargain for under $200 and then actually returns the small fortune he discovers inside.

The honest rabbi. And his desk.
WTNH-TV Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

In today's edition of "Your Morals, Tested," we ask what would you do if you found an ungodly amount of money attached to a casual online purchase?

Please imagine your name is Noah Muroff and you live in Connecticut.

You buy a desk on Craigslist for $200. When you bring it home, it almost fits through your door, but not quite.

So you begin to dismantle it a little, just to squeeze it in.

Behind one of the drawers, you find a plastic bag. You hope it's not cocaine, because that might take a touch of explaining.

Instead, when you open it, you discover money. When you have finished counting the money, you have counted $98,000.

That much money raises questions. Who puts that much money behind a desk drawer? And why? Who would know it was there? And how could anyone prove it was there?

I have omitted one small detail. Noah Muroff is a rabbi. As WTNH-TV reports, his moral code wouldn't allow him to even contemplate accepting this windfall as an act of God.

"Right away my wife and I sort of looked at each other and said, 'We can't keep this money,'" he told WTNH.

So he called the woman from whom he'd bought the desk.

Her response: "Oh my gosh, because I... oh my God." Well, indeed.

You might, at this point, be wondering what sort of money this was. The woman, who only gave her name as Patty, said it was her inheritance -- hidden long ago and then forgotten.

In a thank you note she sent to Muroff, Patty said: "I do not think there are too many people in this world that would have done what you did by calling me."

Many might agree with Patty -- the same many who would have kept the money.

Yahoo News reports that Muroff even took his whole family -- including his four kids -- with him to Patty's house, so that they could understand the value of honesty.

She reportedly insisted on refunding his purchase money and gave him a reward.

The moral of the story is very simple: if you're selling something on Craigslist, make sure you haven't stashed a ton of cash in there. The chances of selling it to a rabbi are slim.