Struggling dad finds $50K in bonds with X-Mas tree, searching for owner

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Struggling single dad Anthony Garofalo, found $50,000 in U.S. bonds in a discarded Christmas tree box in central Florida, and was trying to find the rightful owner of the funds. (Photo: Central Florida News 13)

BITHLO, FL — Three years ago, a 45-year-old single father in central Florida was out trying to make ends meet, poking through a junk yard looking for scrap metal to sell, when he found a box that he thought contained an artificial Christmas tree.

Anthony Garofalo hauled the box away from the junk yard, sealed it, and thought he’d open it when his then-1-month-old son was old enough to appreciate Christmas.

Last week, Garofalo opened the sealed box, and was amazed when he found that it was filled with $50,000 in U.S. bonds. His decision to seek out the owner instead of pocketing the funds might teach his young son more about the Christmas spirit than any plastic tree ever could.

Garofalo called the bonds an exciting find, but said at the end of the day, he “has no right to them.”

He is trying to track down the rightful owner. Donald Tran owns the bonds, and his beneficiary is Theodore Tran.

The T.V. station that first ran Garofalo’s story, Central Florida News 13, has worked with Garofalo to try and reach the owners, but their phone number at at a listed address in Brunswick, Ohio, was disconnected.

Documents show Tran worked for several years at NASA.

Copyright 2013 Central Florida News 13 via CNN. All rights reserved.

2 comments

    • Liza Null

      My mother got a call from a woman in Kansas City; my mother resides in Texas.

      A woman in Kansas City had purchased a trunk containing several boxes and items, and at the bottom of the trunk were our family photos, some certificates from our school years, and some mementos of my mother’s.

      The lady in Kansas City tracked down my mother, and wanted to return these items in the trunk.

      The trunk had been STOLEN from a storage facility in Texas, along with several other items, and somehow made its way to Kansas City.

      Thanks to the goodness of the lady in Kansas City, my mother was able to get back her wedding dress from 1957, and priceless family photos.

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