The plumber who discovered hundred of envelopes containing checks in cash hidden in a wall at celebrity pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston will receive $20,000 for his discovery, a local organization said.

The man, identified by NBC Houston KPRC as Justin Cauley, first talked about the discovery after calling into a Houston morning radio show on Thursday. He said on Nov. 10, he was doing maintenance in one of the church’s bathrooms, and when he went to remove a toilet “about 500 envelopes fell out of the wall.”

According to Crime Stoppers of Houston, the money contained in the envelopes had been stolen from the church in March 2014. According to Crime Stoppers of Houston, the money was worth approximately $600,000. 

Crime Stoppers of Houston provided a $5,000 cash reward for the theft seven years ago. Lakewood Church also offered an additional $20,000 reward. Two years later, the church decided to just donate the $20,000 to the organization.

KPRC reported that the Money Stoppers of Houston told Cauley they had found the money. The organization has since changed course, deciding to award Cauley $20,000.

Lakewood Church provided $20,000 for us to continue working on this case in 2014. They gave us the funds in 2016 for operation. Today, we are gifting that same (amount) of money to this Good Samaritan and wishing he and his family a wonderful holiday season.” Crime Stoppers CEO Rania Mankarious said in a statement.

Mankarious said that the organization asked Mankarious if the award was possible.

Crime Stoppers of Houston, a public safety agency that thrives off the safety of all neighborhoods and communities is called “Crime Stoppers of Houston.” Mankarious shared that we believe Houston must be safe and healthy.

Cauley told the outlet the award is going to “help tremendously” as “bills are stacking up.”

“I’m trying to make the best of it, and today the light shined through,” he said.

Follow Jordan Mendoza via Twitter @jordan_mendoza5.



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