I discovered £150,000 hidden in a mysterious locked box behind a wall – but it turned into a nightmare

A RENOVATOR who thought it was his lucky day when he discovered £150,000 hidden behind a wall has seen his dream find turn into a costly nightmare.

US builder Bob Kitts was renovating the bathroom of a period home near Lake Erie, Cleveland, when he discovered two mysterious locked boxes hanging by a wire under the medicine cabinet.

Bob Kitts and homeowner Amanda Reece pose with the money found in the wall


Bob Kitts and homeowner Amanda Reece pose with the money found in the wallCredit: AP

Inside he found envelopes with a return address from the P. Dunne news agency.

“I ripped the corner off one,” Mr. Kitts said in a statement in a lawsuit filed by Mr. Dunne’s estate, according to The New York Times.

“I saw a 50 and got a little dizzy.”

The envelopes turned out to contain £124,000 and a box contained a further £26,000.

But the discovery of the rare bills from the late 1920s turned into a living nightmare for Mr. Kitts as he and homeowner Amanda Reece couldn’t decide how to split the money.

She offered to give him 10 percent of the cash, but he wanted 40 percent — and things soon got difficult.

The Dunne estate later also sued, with 21 heirs claiming rights to the money.

But there wasn’t much more to claim.

Ms Reece testified she spent around £11,000 on a luxury trip to Hawaii with her mother and sold some of the bills on eBay and to a coin dealer.

She also claimed around £47,000 was stolen from a shoebox in her wardrobe – although she said she never reported the incident to police.

Things got even worse after Mr Kitts said Ms Reece accused him of stealing the money.

She reportedly started leaving him threatening phone messages when the situation got awkward.

Eventually Ms Reece dropped her claim to the remaining £20,000 and the courts gave Mr Kitts 13.7 per cent and the remainder to Mr Dunne’s 21 heirs.

Cuyahoga County Probate Judge Charles Brown said the cash in the envelopes belonged to the heirs because they were labeled with Mr Dunne’s name.

And he said the cash in the box was supposed to belong to Ms Reece as the homeowner – but she dropped her claim so Mr Kitts could take the money as he found it.

I wasn’t the villain everyone made me out to be

Bob Kitts

Ms. Reece, a mortgage loan officer, testified in a filing that she was struggling with debt problems at the time.

Gid Marcinkevicius, a lawyer representing Dunne’s estate, said: “I called it the case of greed.

“If these two people sat down and settled their differences and split the money, the heirs would not have known about it.

“Because they weren’t able to sit down and split it up properly, they both lost.”

Mr Kitts claimed he lost many deals at the time because he was portrayed as greedy.

“I wasn’t the villain everyone made me out to be,” he said.

“I didn’t do anything wrong. It was a nice experience, something that won’t happen again.

“In that respect it was quite fascinating; To see so much money in front of you was breathtaking.

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“In that respect, I don’t regret it.

“The threats and all — that’s the part that makes you wish it had never happened.”

https://www.the-sun.com/news/5236668/found-cash-hidden-bathroom-wall-nightmare/ I discovered £150,000 hidden in a mysterious locked box behind a wall – but it turned into a nightmare


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