Man Finds Nearly $100K in Desk Purchased on Craigslist, Returns Cash

A Connecticut man who purchase a $150 desk on Craigslist accidentally discovered it was worth a whole lot more when he took it apart and found a bag stuffed with nearly $100,000 behind one of the drawers.

Noah Muroff, a teacher and rabbi at a private New Haven high school, said he had no choice but to dismantle the desk in order to get it to fit through his doorway.

It was during this process that the bag of cash suddenly appeared.

"Without detaching the desk, this money, which was behind the drawers, was totally inaccessible," Muroff told CNN.

He and his wife Esther sat down to count the loot, and were shocked to discover they had inadvertently stumbled onto a fortune. $98,000 to be exact.

But the Muroffs say they never considered holding on to it, and immediately contacted the desk's original owner to inform her of their find.

"She was so shocked and touched that anyone would call," Muroff told ABCNews.com. "She said, 'You could have kept the money and nobody would have ever known.'"

The money had apparently come from an inheritance the owner received, which she believed had been misplaced around the house and would eventually turn up.

Despite all the signs that he was meant to experience this windfall, Muroff arrived at the opposite conclusion.

"We both agreed that this is not our money," he said, referring to his wife. "If God wants us to have $98,000, he'll make sure to give it to us in some other way."

So together with his four children, Muroff went back to home outside New Haven where he had picked up the desk in order to drop off the cash.

He did not leave empty handed: For his trouble, Muroff was refunded the $150 he had spent on the desk.

The owner also handed Muroff a touching note, which he shared with the Jewish news portal Voz Is Neias:

I cannot thank you enough for your honesty and integrity. "I do not think there are too many people in this world that would have done what you did by calling me. I do like to believe that there are still good people left in this crazy world we live in. You certainly are one of them.

[screengrab via ABC News]