Plumber finds $20,000 stashed in home in Florida

MANATEE -- In his 50-year career as a plumber, Jerry Laliberte has found all kinds of things in walls and under floors: screwdrivers, flashlights, dead rats and squirrels, to name a few.

But on Oct. 20, Laliberte discovered something most of us will never have a chance to touch: $20,000 in $50 and $100 bills and travelers checks.Two aluminum foil-wrapped packages tumbled out of an air return duct at a house he was servicing.

“I thought it was drugs at first,” said Laliberte, 62, a plumbing technician for Air & Energy air-conditioning, plumbing and electrical service on Holmes Beach.

The discovery left him with shaking hands.

“That’s a lot of money!” he said. “I’ve been doing this a long time and never found anything like this.”

Laliberte had been called to the empty house to stop a water leak underneath a second-floor shower floor. He was alone when he found the money, but didn’t think twice about calling his bosses and informing them of his find.

“I wouldn’t have been able to sleep at night if I had kept any of it,” said Laliberte, who has two daughters, five grandchildren and a great-grandchild. “And I didn’t want to just put it back in the duct, because they rent the place out as a seasonal rental.”

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