$30,000 Found In Clothes: Why Did Carol Sutor Return All That Money To Her Cousin?

By Jason Van Hoven on March 26, 2013 9:25 PM EDT

$30,000 Found In Clothes
The bag in which Carol Suter found the $30,000 in clothes also contained a deposit slip, signifying that it was the intent of her cousin's daughter's mother-in-law to save it before she died. (Photo: Creative Commons)

A Pennsylvania woman found $30,000 in clothes that her cousin gave her on Thursday but decided to give all the money back, according to reports.

Carol Sutor of Bristol, Penn. found the $30,000 in clothes that were in a canvas bag on a hangar that was part of a clothing collection she received from her cousin whose mother-in law-died and owned the clothes.

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"I had to give it back," said Sutor to Phillyburbs.com. "I believe in karma, whatever I do will come back to me, good or bad."

When Sutor unzipped the bag, she found another bag inside it. And inside that bag was another, followed by another one.

"So I opened up the last bag, and got a surprise," she said.

That surprise inside the final bag she opened was blank envelopes containing $100 bills that added up to $30,000.

"At first I thought is this play money?" Sutor recalled. "Then I started looking. I said to myself, no, these are real hundred dollar bills -- a lot of them."

Sutor, who owns and operates Advantage Insurance on New Falls Road in Levittown, is falling on hard times.

"Things are tight," she said. "You struggle in your business, like everybody's struggling. But when you struggle you think, oh, wow, if only I had money, my troubles would be solved. And so all this money shows up, but it's the wrong way for it to come. It wasn't mine and I knew it."

Sutor also thought to herself that if she kept the money, "I'd never be able to look her [cousin] in the eye again."

So, Sutor called her cousin, Marlene Lattanzi, and told her about the $30,000 found in clothes. At first, Lattanzi was dubious, but Sutor, after counting the money for her cousin, confirmed the amount.

Lattanzi then decided to come to her house and eventually took the money and counted it, too.

 "So she took the money and left," Sutor said. "She calls her son-in-law, whose mother the money belonged to, you know, and tells him what happened. And you know what? Ten minutes later my cousin comes back and hands me $1,000 of the money. Her son-in-law said thank-you for returning his mother's money."

Lattanzi said that the woman's money was probably misplaced among her possessions last October after Superstorm Sandy flooded her house in Ventnor and ruined her car. Alhough the woman was 85, her death was unexpected, and she never told anyone she had $30,000 stashed away.

"My guess is her intention was to put it in the bank," Lattanzi said. "One of the envelopes had a deposit slip in it, so I think she never got around to it after Sandy. I'm not surprised Carol was so honest. We have a great family, and all of us cousins grew up together. We were all raised the same way. You don't take things that don't belong to you."

Earlier this month, a University of Delaware senior finance major found $1,800 that was mistakenly deposited by a PNC Bank ATM and returned it to the bank.

ALSO READ: $1,800 ATM Mistake: Why Did Devon Gluck Return All That Money To PNC?

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