You find a bag with meth lab stuff and $100,000 USD in it...

Hypothetical:

You come around a corner on a dark rural road and see a small duffel bag in the middle of the road.

You grab it, throw in in the car and drive home.

At home, you find that the bag contains obvious illegal drug-making materials and equipment. And ten grand in small bills.

You decide to keep the money, rationalizing that it was just scumbag drug dealers that lost it and they don’t deserve it back.

So, what would you do with the cash? It’s not really a lot of money, compared to the other discussions here about millions and billions of dollars and what to do with that amount.

Can you legally keep it?

Your title says $100,000, but the OP says $10,000. Either way, I’d turn the money and meth stuff in to the local PD. I wouldn’t think of spending it, even though the money probably won’t be missed by anyone except the meth dealers.

Crap, missed the edit window.

Yes, $100,000. Not just 10k

Enough to make a huge impact on quality of life in the short term. Or invest it all and if done wisely, make a big difference decades later in retirement, especially if you were low income and didn’t have any retirement savings at all when you found the money.

Right, so 100k.

Genuinely curious. Why would you give it to the cops? What do you think they will do with it that would be better than what you could do with it? Do you believe that the police would spend it on anything that would benefit you or your family/community?

In my city, thats a decent 1800 sq ft 3/2 house free and clear, or a hell of a jumpstart on a decent small business. I started mine on $20K

Thats not exactly a short term bonus for 90% of the working world.

I’ve seen this movie already. Assuming I didn’t ditch the bag the minute I saw that, I try to get rid of any prints/DNA I might have left on it, and preferably dump it off a bridge or somewhere hard to trace me to and hard to notice the dumping at.

Yeah, saw that movie.

That was a LOT more money and also three people found it.

In this case it’s “only” 100k and you are the only one who knows about it.

Maybe because I’m a law-abiding citizen and don’t wish to profit off other people’s suffering, even if indirectly. I don’t really care what the cops do with the money. If they can buy new eqiuipment or train a few more K9 officers or use the money for drug sting operations, I’m all for it.

Would it make a difference to you in your decision if the cops in your area were repeatedly being caught in corruption scandals?

I would keep the cash and use it as supplemental income for the next couple of years.

I’d return it. Not because I’m a good person but because I’m one of those people that always get caught. Always. No matter what. That’s why I never do anything wrong, I know for a fact that it will end badly for me.

I take it. I destroy or dispose of the meth lab equipment (after I’ve carefully cataloged it, dont know whether you’ll need that kwnowledgenlater or not), and keep the cash. 100 grand isn’t retirement money, but it’s nice rainy weather money. It’s don’t worry if you lose your job money, it’s a big-chip in a retirement account money.

I’d take a few grand of it and invest in/buy/start a small in-cash business (laundromat, vending machines, mowing lawns, door to do cleaning, etc). I’d then launder the remaining 98,000 of it through my business (which would hopefully be independently profitable).

Basically, that 100k could act like starting capital for a business, which at first would be profitable if you assume that you can’t spend the money until it’s laundered. But after that, hopefully it’ll be profitable through clever advertising and solid product/services.

I would too. But what if, for instance, you wanted to start a college fund for your grandson with it? Would the IRS come after you, asking where you got the money?

Well, I know it’s a hypothetical situation, but the cops in my city are honest. I trust them.

Wow, cochrane. I’m impressed by your integrity.

I wouldn’t take an unopened duffel bag home in the first place. But if I did find a bunch of cash and meth, I’d turn it over to the cops and get the hell out. No WAY I want to be involved – you never know who it belonged to, or what kind of trouble I’d get into.

It’s just not worth the hassel.

Yes, petting sums over a certain amount raises red flags. I don’t know how much it is (everyone says 10,000 - but I’m uncertain), no matter how much it is, more frequent, smaller transactions that seem “regular” are less suspicious. Especially if it has a reasonable explanation like “I make an extra two grand a month in cash doing in home computer repair.”

Me too, kudos dude. Cochrane, you’re the kind of person I’d like to have as a neighbor.

Then I would have to launder the money somehow. Maybe through a casino. Or maybe, if I wanted a new hobby, I could buy musical instruments on Craigslist and resell them at a “profit”. Buy a guitar for $1000, sell it for $1000 but declare I made $1000 in profit. I enjoy playing a lot of different instruments so this could keep me busy for years.

Wouldn’t you have to launder it, or pay in cash for whatever you wanted? I couldn’t see shoving that amount into a checking account under my name all at once. I’ve been living paycheck to paycheck for ages. It would look shady as hell.

What, nobody’s going to use the money and equipment to make their own meth lab? It’s like a meth lab starter kit!