HOUSTON — A man who claimed to have found $600,000 hidden inside a bathroom wall of Lakewood Church is sparking a series of questions and conspiracy theories.
“Don’t you wonder, like what happened to the person who stashed the money in this wall,” asked 100.3 FM radio DJ George Lindsey. “I mean, why did they never come back for it?”
Curiosity piqued when the man, who claims to be a plumber named Justin, called into The Bull Morning Show Thursday. Lindsey says he and his fellow DJ’s were asking listens, “have you ever found anything of value?”
Calls poured in of Houstonians finding $20 or $50.
“And then, this guy Justin called and said, 'Yeah I found $600,000,'” said Lindsey.
In the conversation that happened during the morning rush hour, Justin explained how he was, “doing some plumbing work at the Lakewood Church,” when he “discovered their money in the wall that was stolen back in 2014.”
In March 2014, Lakewood Church reported to Houston police that at least $600,000 in donations was stolen from the church in cash, checks and envelopes containing the credit card information of some church members.
Lakewood Church believed then that the theft happened after Sunday church service on March 9, 2014.
In spite of a $25,000 reward from Houston Crime Stoppers and media attention, the funds were never recovered.
Then, on November 10, 2021 Houston police confirm renovation work was being done at Lakewood Church. Justin told The Bull Morning Show that as he wiggled to loosen a toilet, part of the bathroom wall gave way.
"About 500 envelopes fell out of the wall,” the Justin said.
Lindsey recalled being shocked by the story.
“There was a season in Ozark, the Netflix show, where they stashed money in the wall of a hotel. And I mean, that’s what we thought of immediately, is like could be a Netflix series kind of thing," he said.
Art, imitating life.
“When he started talking about it, I mean we were googling,” said Lindsey of the research done of the 2014 theft. “I remember. I mean, it was a big, big deal here.”
And he says it says a lot about the guy who found the stash.
"And I mean, there are no cameras in the bathroom, right? So I mean, he could have stashed some of the cash and come back for it later or whatever, but he didn’t do that," said Lindsey. "And I think it shows what kind of guy we’re dealing with here."
Houston police officers will not reveal the exact amount of money discovered in November, but officers will say the money was counted, documented and left in the custody of Lakewood Church since it was property found at the church. The checks found within the pile of money were dated March 9, 2014.