Plumber Finds $600,000 In Cash At Joel Osteen’s Church Toilet, Gets $20,000 Reward
A plumber who discovered cash and checks hidden in a toilet wall while doing maintenance work at paster Joel Osteen‘s Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas has received an award for the find.
The plumber, Justin Cauley, found evidence that could help solve a $600,000 burglary at the congregation seven years ago. He received a reward of $20,000 on Tuesday from Crime Stoppers of Houston.
Cauley came across about 500 envelopes of cash and checks last month.
He called into a Houston radio morning show to reveal how he found the envelopes working on a bathroom wall at the Church, led by Osteen and wife Victoria.
“My heart stopped, needless to say,” the plumber told KPRC in his first on-camera interview. “I had no clue that would come about.”
The $25,000 reward was offered by Crime Stoppers in 2014 after the Lakewood Church reported missing more than $600,000 in a burglary. The $20,000 was initially offered by Lakewood to help Crime Stoppers assist in the search and was later given as a donation to the nonprofit when the statute of limitations on the reward had expired, the nonprofit’s CEO, Rania Mankarious said.
The nonprofit was compelled to give the money to Cauley despite the statute of limitations.
“When we heard that Justin the plumber made the discovery and immediately reported to the supervisor and law enforcement, it dawned on me that the unique gift from Lakewood Church should go to him,” Mankarious said. “We were excited to do this for him.”
The church has not said how much money was recovered from the toilet wall.
Jami Schlicher, a spokeswoman for Lakewood Church, said in a statement, “We are appreciative of the plumber and we hope he pays the first forward.
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