Plumber who found $600k hidden in wall of pastor Joel Osteen’s evangelical church gets $20k reward

Televangelist wants to meet Justin Cauley following surprise find

Gino Spocchia
Thursday 09 December 2021 14:40 GMT
Related video: California megachurch draws thousands at in-person services defying state coronavirus orders

A plumber who allegedly found thousands of cash-filled envelopes behind the wall of a church in Houston, Texas, has received a reward of $20,000 (£15,150).

Justin Cauley, according to Crime Stoppers of Houston, will receive a $20,000 reward for the discovery of almost 3,000 envelopes at Lakewood Church last month.

Joel Scott Osteen, the American pastor, televangelist and author, is based at the church which in 2014 reported $60,000 in cash was missing.

Crime Stoppers of Houston had advertised an initial reward of $5,000 (£3,700) for the missing cash, which was increased by $15,000 (£11,300) after a donation from Lakewood Church in 2016.

On Tuesday, the public safety group said it was “gifting that same about of money to this Good Samaritan (Mr Cauley) and wishing he and his family a wonderful holiday season”.

The plumber told 100.3 The Bull that he found 500 envelopes that “fell out of wall” during work on the church last month, and that 3,000 envelopes were eventually found.

It remains unclear how much was recovered in cash however, and on Wednesday he said he was “upset” that he had not heard from Lakewood Church or the pastor, who Fox News said had invited him to attend.

The church also reportedly released a statement saying that it wanted Mr Cauley to “pay the gift forward”.

The Houston Police Department, which is still investigating the 2014 burglary, were reportedly treating the money recovered last month as being connected.

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