Tradies that found $ 488,000 buried at the construction site are fired because they brought it to the police
A bitter legal battle has broken out over $ 500,000 in old banknotes found on a construction site by two traditions.
Excavator Warren Bruggy and worker Daniel Boyd found the money on October 31 and immediately handed it over to the police.
For their honesty, they were abruptly fired by their boss, who also claims the money according to old laws of “finders’ guards.”
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A bitter legal battle has broken out over $ 500,000 in old banknotes found on a construction site by two traditions
The landowner and developer join them in the complicated legal stable and a man who claims that his father buried it to avoid taxation.
The money was also speculated as loot from a bank robbery by the notorious ‘postcard bandit’ who was active in the area, but criminal activity has since been excluded.
Altogether, $ 388,850 in old paper banknotes and $ 100,000 in destroyed banknotes were found in three house searches.
The bizarre affair began when Mr. Bruggy and Mr. Boyd demolished a house, swimming pool, and tennis court at Lae Drive, Runaway Bay, on the Gold Coast.
They discovered the first $ 100,000 buried in plastic tubs while digging in the back yard, about 60 cm below the surface.
A police station was just across the road, so they “did the right thing” and went over immediately – without telling their boss.
While they were at the station, they received a call from company bosses telling them “go home and don’t come back,” Bruggy told the Sunday Mail.
Shane Grimwood (photo) fired the couple on the spot after bringing their find directly to the police instead of first telling him, and he now claims the money for himself
Court reports show that their boss Shane Grimwood, co-director of DIG Earthworks, was furious, they told the police for him.
He called developer Scott Morrison, who owns the land, saying he “couldn’t believe his boys had turned in the money,” Mr Morrison claimed in his statement.
The document filed with the Supreme Court of Queensland claimed that Mr. Grimwood said he was on his way to the site to dismiss them immediately.
“I was fired because we did not hand over the money to our employers. So they fired us on the spot, “Bruggy told a Supreme Court session.
Both traditions have struggled to find work since they were fired and are now unemployed.
Justice Daubney took a different view of their boss and said to the couple: “That’s very good. I mean it. You have done good and honest.
The judge also said that “finders-guards” was a reasonable claim and had some “old authority” to support the legal argument.
Under the laws of Queensland, those who hand in property may request the police to return it to them if the owner cannot be found.
The two traditions cleared a site (photo) on Thursday in Runaway Bay, on the Gold Coast, when they lifted up the old banknotes
Grimwood leads the same case in competition with the traditions and had offered to split the money with Mr. Morrison.
“I’m not greedy … so we just have to split it 50/50 and we can both be on a yacht eating oysters and drinking champagne,” he said, according to Mr. Morrison.
The developer did not include him on the offer and instead pursued his own request for the entire pile of money.
At least two other claimants came out of the woodwork after the find was published, but since then they have abandoned their claims.
When searching for the real owner of the money, the police contacted former owners of the property, including Peter Chan.
Chan said his deceased brother-in-law Stephen Ma, a traveling chef, may have hidden the money on his property to prevent taxation.
Mr. Ma’s son Raymond Ma, who owns the Mandarin Court Chinese restaurant on the Gold Coast, has since filed a claim on behalf of his father.
Restorer Raymond Ma (left) also claims the money on behalf of his deceased father Stephen (right), who according to him has buried the money to prevent tax
The bizarre affair started when Mr. Bruggy and Mr. Boyd demolished a house, swimming pool and tennis court at Lae Drive, Runaway Bay, on the Gold Coast
His lawyer told the court that his client believed that Mr. Ma buried the money in 1993 after he had shown Mr. Chan a bag full of money, which he refused to take.
He admitted, however, that he had never seen Mr Ma bury the money.
Mr. Morrison’s lawyer claimed that even if this story were true, Mr. Ma had “left” the money and therefore could not claim it.
The police have not found any fingerprints or DNA that can figure out who actually owns the money and the case seems to have been stuck in court for some time.