Plumber Finds 500 Envelopes Full Of Cash Inside Wall Of Joel Osteen's Lakewood Megachurch

Imagine heading into work thinking it was just another normal day when suddenly you make an incredible discovery while on the job. A plumber named Justin Cauley was at Joel Osteen's Lakewood megachurch in Houston, Texas, fixing a toilet that had come loose from the wall when he found something incredible. While working to remove the toilet, Cauley discovered about 500 envelopes that were filled with cash, check and money orders in November 2021.

The plumber said after he removed some insulation from the wall, the hundreds of envelopes just fell out, to his surprise. Right away, Cauley reported what he found to the maintenance supervisor and then the police were contacted as well. In a statement, the police confirmed that the money could be connected to the 2014 case filed by the church after $600,000 went missing from their safe.

The investigation is still ongoing, but the nonprofit organization, Crime Stoppers, offered a reward in 2016 for anyone who could contribute evidence to the case that would warrant an arrest. After hearing that Cauley found the money while he was alone and still chose to turn all of it in, the organization decided to reward him with $20,0000. The plumber said this amount of money was going to help him and his family tremendously.

Osteen is not hurting for money and makes an exceptional income for being a pastor, or televangelist as he is also called. It is believed that Osteen's net worth is around $100 million and he lives in a $15 million house. Keep reading to learn more about this incredible find.

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Cauley first described what he had found on the radio station 100.3 FM The Morning Bullpen with co-host Greg Lindsey. Cauley described, "There was a loose toilet in the wall, and we removed the tile. We went to go remove the toilet, and I moved some insulation away and about 500 envelopes fell out of the wall, and I was like 'Oh wow!'"

The plumber added, "I went ahead and contacted the maintenance supervisor that was there, and I turned it all in."

Cauley's actions were very noble and his good act did not go unseen. "He has to be one of the most honest people in the world," Lindsey told The Washington Post. "We're talking about a bathroom with no security cameras. He could have pocketed some money. But this guy reported it immediately."

A representative from Lakewood church said in a statement, "Recently, while repair work was being done at Lakewood Church, an undisclosed amount of cash and checks were found. Lakewood immediately notified the Houston Police Department and is assisting them with their investigation." Cauley mentioned to The Post that neither the church nor Osteen have mentioned his involvement in finding the money.

The Houston police department made a statement on Twitter confirming the find. They wrote: "church members stated that during a renovation project, a large amount of money – including cash, checks and money orders – was found inside a wall." In the same statement they added that after documenting all of the findings, the envelopes and their contents would stay with the church because they were found on the property.
The Houston police also confirmed that the envelopes found by Cauley were possibly connected to the 2014 robbery case. They said, "evidence from the recovered checks suggests this November (2021) case is connected to" the 2014 reported theft. They added that the investigation is still ongoing.

After coming forward on the radio show, Cauley decided to release his full name and had interviews with local news stations. This caused his story to receive national attention. When the Crime Stoppers heard what Cauley had done, they decided to reward him $20,000 that was originally donated by Lakewood church in 2016 to help find information about the robbery. "My heart stopped, needless to say. I had no clue that would come about," Cauley said afterward.

The statute of limitations had already run out on the reward, but the organization wanted to give Cauley the money anyway. Crime Stoppers' CEO, Rania Mankarious told The Washington Post: "When we heard that Justin the plumber made the discovery and immediately reported it to the supervisor and law enforcement, it dawned on me that the unique gift from Lakewood Church should go to him. We were excited to do this for him."

The large reward is enough to change Cauley's life for the better. "Bills are stacking up. I'm just trying to make the best of it," he said. "And today, that light shined through … this money is going to help tremendously." He also said he plans on donating some of the money to Crime Stoppers and to the Houston SPCA, which is an animal shelter and protection organization.


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