Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The story of Adam Woldemariam: might be most honest man in America

Cabbie might be most honest man in America

Updated: Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012, 9:01 AM CDT
Published : Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012, 8:59 AM CDT

LAS VEGAS (NBC/KSNV) - A Las Vegas cabbie might be called a fool or the most honest man in America after turning in a brief case he found full of money in his taxi -- a quarter-million-dollar find.

In a city of temptation, cab drivers know honesty goes a long way.

"That kind of money, you don't keep that," said 42-year-old cab driver Adam Woldemariam.

They're constantly tested.

"I hope all the drivers do the same thing," he said.

But they rarely come across a situation like Woldemariam's, who has been a cab driver for seven years. Last month, he found a black laptop case in the back seat of his van.

"I opened the case, I looked, it was money," he said. "I was surprised. I immediately go to the office."

He turned it all in to the cab company owner's lost-and-found department -- all $221,510.

We asked the most common question he's been answering these days: Why not keep it?

"Never, never. I cant do that. That's not my money," he said.

It turns out, an hour after Woldemariam turned in the cash, he got a big thank you hug from the owner -- and a monetary reward.

"He gave $2,000. That's it," Woldemariam chuckled.

His cab friends tease that's less than 1 percent tip. But to him, it means a lot to his parents and seven siblings in Ethiopia.

"He was struggling to send money to family, so it's a gift. That $2,000 means a lot to send back home. It's good timing," said a friend of Woldemariam.

And although it's not cash, he does have a quarter-million-dollar story to tell.

The owner reportedly won the money at the Wynn casino but left it in the cab on the way to the airport.

When he realized he had forgotten the money, he called the cab company, which informed him they had his money.

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