Woman finds $357,959 cashier's check
and returns it
By JOHN ROGERS, Associated Press Writer
Wed Apr 8, 4:49 pm ET
LOS ANGELES – As she walked from a post office,
Talon Curtis thought she'd found one of those gimmicky
sweepstakes offers on the ground that scream something
like "$357,959.55" in big bold letters and "This is not a real
check" in much smaller type.
But just as she was about to do her part for a cleaner planet
and deliver the paper from the parking lot to a trash can, she
noticed it was a real cashier's check with a real signature.
"I couldn't believe it. I almost passed out," Curtis, who works
as a loan negotiator, told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
"I have never seen a check that big. Not in my possession, anyway."
She immediately set out to find its rightful recipient, but it
was Saturday afternoon and the banks were closing. On Monday,
with help from KCAL-TV reporter Dave Malkoff, she located the
check's owner, who had arrived at her bank in a panic.
"I think she had walked in at the same time the bank manager
called me back," Curtis said. "I could hear her walking up to
him and I could hear all this commotion in the background."
Curtis said she spoke briefly with the woman on the phone about
a possible meeting, but Pacific Mercantile Bank instructed her
to mail the check to them instead. Not willing to take a chance
on the mail, Curtis delivered it personally. A bank employee
confirmed it had arrived.
Curtis said she never thought of keeping the check for herself,
and she declined the woman's offer of a reward. Still, she's just
a little disappointed. "I just wanted to see her face," Curtis said,
laughing. "I just wanted to let her know that there are honest
people left in this world."