Nearly $1 million found at Surfside collapse site, distributing it to victims is a challenge

Most of the loose cash is unidentifiable

FILE - Rescue workers work in the rubble at the Champlain Towers South Condo in Surfside, Fla., in this Friday, June 25, 2021, file photo. Video released by a team of federal investigators shows more evidence of extensive corrosion and overcrowded concrete reinforcement in a Miami-area condominium that collapsed in June, killing 98 people. The National Institute of Standards and Technology also announced Wednesday, Aug. 25, it will conduct a five-pronged investigation into the Champlain Towers South collapse, which will be led by Judith Mitrani-Reiser. She is a Cuban-born engineer who grew up in Miami.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
FILE - Rescue workers work in the rubble at the Champlain Towers South Condo in Surfside, Fla., in this Friday, June 25, 2021, file photo. Video released by a team of federal investigators shows more evidence of extensive corrosion and overcrowded concrete reinforcement in a Miami-area condominium that collapsed in June, killing 98 people. The National Institute of Standards and Technology also announced Wednesday, Aug. 25, it will conduct a five-pronged investigation into the Champlain Towers South collapse, which will be led by Judith Mitrani-Reiser. She is a Cuban-born engineer who grew up in Miami.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SURFSIDE, Fla.WPLG-TV is reporting a hearing was held Thursday morning to discuss several topics surrounding the aftermath of the Surfside condominium collapse, including procedures for connecting families and victims with their belongings, and even more pressing — discussing what to do with the multiple safes and loose cash found on property grounds.

At the hearing, court-appointed receiver Michael Goldberg said the money collected at the collapse site, which totals roughly $1 million, should be given to the victims of the collapse or their families.

However, there are several hurdles, including that most of the loose cash is unidentifiable, and some of the 17 safes discovered at the site may not have any form of identification within them.

Despite these setbacks, Goldberg remained hopeful that the money will go back to either the respective victims and their families, or, at least, to all of the victims.

Goldberg says the currency that was easy to identify was found in wallets or purses.

Unfortunately, most of the cash was discovered loose in the rubble.

Although Goldberg is confident there will be something to identify the owners inside of the safes, if there isn’t, he is committed to figuring out a procedure to find the owner or their family members.

According to Goldberg, the U.S. Treasury has a process where they can extract cash, clean it, and return it to Surfside officials in the form of a check. If this happens, Goldberg plans to then take the identifiable proceeds and return them to the owners.

However, if there is one thing that was made clear in the hearing, it is that Goldberg and the judge both strongly believe the unidentifiable cash should go towards all of the victims.

Before that money is dispersed to all of the victims, anyone will have the opportunity to claim and go before the court for the unidentified funds.


About the Authors:

Nicole Lopez-Alvar is a Miami-born and raised journalist and TV personality covering South Florida and beyond for Local10.com.

Alex Finnie joined the Local 10 News team in May 2018. South Florida is home! She was raised in Miami and attended the Cushman School and New World School of the Arts for high school.