26 Dec 2013

Vegas cabbie hands in huge cash find

7:36 pm on 26 December 2013

A Las Vegas taxi driver who found a package containing $US300,000 on the back seat of his cab has been rewarded for returning the money.

Gerardo Gamboa received a $1000 cheque from his employer for his honesty after the money was left behind by a passenger he picked up from a casino.

He made sure it was returned to the forgetful owner, the BBC reports.

"I don't care from $10 to higher," Mr Gamboa told CNN. "My dignity is not for sale, and that's the way I am. That's the way our parents taught us when I was a kid".

The loser of the money -- at least temporarily, thanks to Mr Gamboa's good deed -- was a famous 28-year-old professional poker player, whom officials weren't publicly identifying.

The gambler was so devastated at his loss Monday that "he wanted to shoot himself in the head," a cab company official said.

It all began when Mr Gamboa drove a man about 3km between casino-hotels, from the Cosmopolitan on the Las Vegas Strip to Palms Place. The passenger gave him a $5 tip.

Mr Gamboa found the money at his next pick-up - the Bellagio casino-hotel - and took the small fortune to the office of his Nevada cab company, which contacted authorities. After a four-hour police investigation, officials confirmed the gambler was the rightful owner of the money.

"I did the right thing, that's it," Mr Gamboa says. "They call us sin city. But it's not. It's angel city."