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

Posted on: 9:56 am, December 9, 2013, by

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)

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.