Plumber Who Found Money Stashed in Wall at Joel Osteen's Church Gets $20,000 Reward

Police say the money he discovered may be related to a 2014 robbery at the Lakewood Church

Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A plumber who found envelopes filled with money hidden in a wall at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Texas received a $20,000 reward.

The plumber, identified by NBC Houston affiliate KPRC as Justin Cauley, discovered the money last month while removing a toilet from a church bathroom. Police believe the cash and checks he found were connected to a theft at the church in 2014 when $600,000 was taken from a safe.

The nonprofit organization CrimeStoppers gave Cauley a check for $20,000 for alerting the church to his discovery. The money is part of CrimeStoppers reward it offered for the 2014 robbery, while Lakewood has since turned their portion of the reward into a donation.

“This money is going to help tremendously,” Cauley told KPRC.

The plumber explained how he found the money Nov. 10 when he called into the morning show on 100.3 The Bull, a country music radio station in the city.

“There was a loose toilet in the wall, and we removed the tile,” he said, according to KPRC. “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!’”

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