Hospital worker finds thousands of dollars in laundry machine

Miriam Hospital employee Steven Ledo opens the dryer in which he found more than $9,000 cash belonging to a patient. (Photo: Shiina LoSciuto)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Steven Ledo was doing laundry in the basement of Miriam Hospital last month, when he noticed something odd with one of the dryers.

“The door was open, and I saw money falling onto the floor,” Ledo said. “I opened the dryer, and there was just tons of money in there.”

Ledo said there were several $50 and $100 bills, along with numerous $20s, $10s, $5s and $1s.

“I tried to call my boss to tell him what was going on, but the phone didn’t work,” Ledo said. Not wanting to leave the money alone, Ledo got down on his hands and knees and started picking out all the cash. By the time he was done, he was holding more than $9,000.

“I’ve never had that much money in my hands,” Ledo said. However, the thought of even keeping a few bills never crossed his mind.

“I wanted to return it,” he said. “It’s somebody else’s hard-earned money, and it wasn’t mine.”

The 62-year-old, who has been working at Miriam for 19 years, took the money to his supervisor. Ledo said he later found the ID of the patient to whom the money belonged in the same dryer.

A nurse manager returned to the money to the patient. “The look on her face was priceless,” the manager said.

Ledo is set to receive an award from the hospital, but he said Wednesday that it was simply the right thing to do.

“There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it,” Ledo said. “You treat people the way you want to be treated.”