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Georgia Couple To Keep Lost Money

September 14, 1999

RINGGOLD, Ga. (AP) _ More than a year and a half after Kathy Fulton found two plastic bags stuffed with $279,000 in her driveway, a judge has ruled she and her husband can keep 40 percent of it. That means the Fultons get $111,616.

No, wait! Their attorneys get a one-third contingency fee, so that leaves $74,000.

Oops! Don’t forget Uncle Sam. After federal taxes are taken out, the couple will have about $50,000.

Despite their chiseled share, the Fultons’ lead attorney, James McKoon, said the couple couldn’t be happier. He said Monday they plan to use it to help pay off their home mortgage.

Mrs. Fulton found the cash in December 1997. She ran over the bags on her driveway while taking her children to school.

Tests revealed the bags were tainted with cocaine and traces of chemicals used to make methamphetamine. Authorities believe the cash was part of a money-laundering operation in Tennessee and Georgia, and prosecutors argued all the money should go to the government.

The couple settled for 40 percent. A federal judge approved the deal in July.

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