LAS VEGAS (CBS VEGAS) — An honest Las Vegas taxi driver found nearly a quarter-million dollars and returned it to the owner.
A passenger forgot his black laptop case filled with $221,510 in winnings from the Wynn casino in Sin City. And Adam Woldemarim, 42, an immigrant from Ethiopia, brought the cash to his cab company’s security office.
“That’s not my money,” he told NBC News, explaining why he would not have felt justified in keeping the cash for himself.
He continued working for about an hour, when he was called back to the office.
A young man contacted the cab company claiming the money. The man tipped Woldemarim $2,000, reported the Las Vegas Review-Journal. And although Woldemarim was happy, he hadn’t expected any bonus that night.
One of Woldemarim’s friends, Alex Alebachew, thinks the story of Woldemarim’s decency alone can help challenge stereotypes about immigrants.
“[A] lot of people think foreign cabdrivers like us abuse tourists or they long haul their customers or we’re just here causing problems and we don’t belong here,” Alebachew lamented to NBC. “They never see the good side to us, the honest side.”
Woldemarim came to the United States seven years ago. He was one of 3,000 Ethiopians to receive a U.S. government visa via a lottery, reported the Las Vegas Review-Journal.He works five or six days each week to earn $350. His friends and family in Ethiopia have asked him whether the $2,000 tip will go far.
“I’m not living in Ethiopia anymore,” he replied. “I’m in America.”
But Woldemarim does not regret anything. He is simply glad he did the right thing.