Skip to main content

Madrid police want to reunite $2 million check with California driver

By Al Goodman, CNN
September 26, 2013 -- Updated 1527 GMT (2327 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A maintenance worker for Madrid's subway system found the check Wednesday
  • It was in a wallet and made out to a man with a California driver's license
  • "It appears that the wallet was stolen on the Metro," a subway system spokeswoman says
  • "We have to verify that the origin of the money is not illicit," a police spokesman says

Madrid (CNN) -- It's a check for $2 million, issued to a man with a California driver's license. And it was found in a subway car in Madrid, police say.

"We have his name. We're trying to locate this person," a National Police spokesman in Madrid told CNN on Thursday.

"We won't just hand it over. We have to verify that the origin of the money is not illicit," said the spokesman, who by custom is not identified.

The check was issued by Bank of America, and it's post-dated to January 2014, the spokesman said.

A maintenance worker for Madrid's Metro, or subway system, found it Wednesday. A train running on line 5, which roughly traverses the capital from east to west, reported a problem with doors that wouldn't fully close at the Diego de Leon station.

Homeless man turns in $40k, gets $91k

The train was sent to a maintenance yard, following protocol, and a worker who inspected the doors found a brown leather wallet that contained the $2 million check, the California driver's license and some credit cards, a Metro de Madrid spokeswoman said.

"It appears that the wallet was stolen on the Metro," the spokeswoman said. "The thief looked inside, grabbed the cash -- but didn't see the check -- and then threw the wallet away."

Usually, these kinds of discarded stolen wallets end up on a station platform. But this one landed in the doorway of a Metro car, preventing it from closing properly, she said.

Madrid's Metro handles an average of 2 million passengers a day, but this is believed to be the first time that one of them was carrying a $2 million check, the police spokesman said.

Why would someone with such a large check be riding in the subway, instead of in a chauffeured car?

Police would like to ask the owner of the check that question, too, the spokesman said.

Police have contacted the U.S. Embassy in Madrid for help in finding the check's owner, but the embassy had no immediate comment.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1818 GMT (0218 HKT)
While aspects of the fighting in Gaza resemble earlier clashes, this time feels different, writes military analyst Rick Francona.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 0354 GMT (1154 HKT)
If India and the U.S. were Facebook friends, the relationship between them would undoubtedly be "complicated." Can the U.S. Secretary of State's visit change that?
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1438 GMT (2238 HKT)
The death of an American from Ebola fuels fears of the further global spread of the virus.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1835 GMT (0235 HKT)
Take a look inside Airbus' new -- and surprisingly quiet -- A350XWB.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1108 GMT (1908 HKT)
Flowers, a teddy bear and the smells of jet fuel and death haunt the MH17 crash site.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Nearly two weeks after MH17 was blown out of the sky, Dutch investigators have yet to lay eyes on the wreckage. How useful will it be now?
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1510 GMT (2310 HKT)
The U.S. and EU are imposing new sanctions on Moscow -- but will they have any effect?
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
July 26, 2014 -- Updated 0048 GMT (0848 HKT)
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1303 GMT (2103 HKT)
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT