FORT BENNING, GA – What would you do if you found thousands of dollars just lying around? For two Martin Army Community Hospital employees, there was absolutely no doubt in their minds what was the right thing to do.
“I was walking past the ATM on my way back to my office from a lunch break when I noticed a stack of money sitting on top of the machine,” said BMACH Heat Center program assistant Shanell Scott. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing so I walked up to the ATM to get a closer look and that’s when I realized that it was indeed a stack of money!”
Scott, standing at 4’11”, called over Martin Café cashier Franklin Taylor, who was working nearby, to help her retrieve the bundle of cash.
“As I picked up the bag, I could see the stack of money was nothing but $100 dollar bills and the bag was still partially stuck in the ATM top,” recalled Taylor. “I started pulling the bag free so we could have a better look at what was inside the bag. Ms. Scott and I just looked at each other in bewilderment because we had just found a stack of $100 bills and checks [totally about $30,000] on top of the ATM. We really didn’t know what to do.”
Scott and Taylor called the number listed on the ATM, to alert the bank about the money inadvertently left behind.
“But after calling it, it was not the number we needed for this situation,” said Taylor. “We then searched the internet for an emergency number and spoke to someone that put us in touch with a local branch manager. The branch manager asked us to drop off the money at the nearest Wells Fargo branch office.
“After spending several minutes on the phone and looking at the money and each other, Ms. Scott and I decided that she would drop off the money since she was on her way out anyway.”
“I took the money to the security department here at BMACH,” said Scott. “The money was returned to the Loomis Company which handles the money for Wells Fargo.”
Scott, who is a contractor, started working at BMACH almost three years ago. Taylor is a retired Air Force Master Sergeant whose missions over his 21 year career have included transporting the presidential limo and nuclear weapons. We’re certainly lucky to have employees like Scott and Taylor who do the right thing, even when no one is looking.
“The money was sealed in a clear plastic bag that had the Wells Fargo logo on it, so I knew that it had to be returned,” said Scott.
“So many people have told Ms. Scott and me that we should have kept some of the money, if not all of it,” added Taylor. “In the end your morals, integrity and faith will guide you to do the right thing.”