Attorney: Moorhead Waitress To Keep $12,000 Tip

MOORHEAD, Minn. (WCCO) — A waitress in Minnesota will keep her $12,000 tip after police confiscated the cash, according to her attorney Craig Richie.

“The county attorney’s office and the Moorhead Police Department have agreed to give her the entire $12,000,” said Richie.

Stacy Knutson says she got the money after a customer left a box at her table at the Fryn’ Pan Restaurant in Moorhead. She followed the customer to her car to return the box but the woman told her to keep it. Knutson found bundled rolls of cash inside the box.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s John Williams Talks With Stacy Knutsons Attorney

She said even though she has five children and could use the money, she decided to call police.

“They’re strapped financially,” said Richie.

Officers told the woman to wait 90 days in case someone claimed the money. Richie says after three months, police told Knutson the cash was being held as drug money.

“They initially said they were going to give it to her,” said Richie. “Then they said, ‘Oh, well, no we had the drug dogs sniff it and we think there’s drugs on it and we are going to keep it.'”

Richie says police offered her a $1,000 reward, but she never received it. She then filed a lawsuit in Clay County District Court.

“We argued that most money that you carry in your pocket has drug residue on it,” said Richie. “She could’ve kept the money and nobody would’ve known. But she said, ‘No, I’m going to do the right thing.’ So she called police and now integrity has now prevailed.”

Read the original story.

More from Edgar Linares
  • Was $12,000 A Restaurant Tip Or Drug Money? « CBS Minnesota

    […] (Update: As of Thursday, April 5, the attorney for the waitress said she will keep her $12,000 tip. Read more.) […]

  • Bob

    drug residue, really Moorehead Police? that was your argument, you should all be fired, you’re all a bunch of slimy dirtballs

    • Jim

      The money in the cop wallet has just as much drug residue on it as any other money. How often to they cash their paycheck and turn the money in? My guess is never. The theives got caught red handed attempting to steal this ladies money.

    • Deep Thinker

      It really makes you wonder about these cops involved. Especially since drug residue on money is not uncommon.

      • markH

        The smart bet is to wonder about ALL cops. Yes, there are some good cops out there who risk their lives…yadda, yadda, yadda. We’ve all heard the “hero” talk about how altruistic the police are. Reality is much, much different. I am a law-abiding citizen who was once ordered (at gunpoint) out of my vehicle because the “month” tag on my license plate somehow fell off. My two children were in the car at the time (both under age 6) and were thoroughly terrified. The cop ultimately apologized, but his ego and abuse of power disgusted me then and now. The moral of the story is…trust the police at your own peril.

    • Tom

      The drug residue probably came from the cops’ own sticky fingers.


      speaking of slimy dirtballs, what do you think think the f&^&^%%$king lawyer got out of the $12000.00????????

      • Gray

        Great point. How horrible of this attorney spend time to get the woman the cash that the police would otherwise have stolen.

      • ratbag

        If it wasn’t for the lawyer, do you think for one minute she would have gotten to keep the money?

        No wonder people keep evaluating if “honesty is the best policy.”

    • kmrod

      4 of 5 american paper bills has drug residue on it

      those police are idiots

      • brendancalling

        NO. THEY”RE CORRUPT. They wanted to keep the money for themselves, just like they get to keep anything else they seize. Read up on asset forfeiture.

        • Michael

          Corrupt? I don’t know and neither odes anyone else. What I see is a cash strapped system that is out to drain every last nickel they can from the citizens. To me it’s no different than all the speed traps, red light cameras and the likes. Big Gov’t needs big money to operate. If you haven’t notice gov’t is broke at all levels, there is no money left. So, now in the so-called name of ‘safety’, local and state gov’ts are setting up clever ways to siphon cash from folks. This is no different, find some technicality to swindle the money from a good citizen. Lesson learned here is to NEVER invovle police unless absolutely neccessary!

          • nick

            sorry,truncated post. That should read:
            Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s not corrupt.

          • nick

            ecause it might be legal doesn;t mean it’s not corrupt.

          • Common Man

            Instead of letting these vermin “siphon” cash from the citizenry, they should all be fired for being corrupt. When election time comes around everyone from the Mayor down should be replaced.

    • willie

      VA Hospital, Augusta GA. My friend found $800. in the parking lot. He turned it in to VA police. They KEPT IT. and put it in the policemans fund. DAMN CROOKS.

      • James D

        I completely agree, but if you hand money in to the cops, you deserve to be ripped off for being so stupid. The thief is wrong to steal, but if I decide to be a chump and let him steal from me, I get what’s coming to me, don’t I?

        • Larz Blackman

          People do stupid things, but that doesn’t mean they deserve to be ripped off. Don’t lose your compassion.

        • bruce brinkmann

          Honesty and integrity are gone by the wayside, when it comes to any government authority. Legislative, Judicial and Executive are now ruled by the seven deadly sins which is just human nature I’m afraid. That is without having any faith in the God of your understanding.

          • Indigo Red

            Honesty and integrity have not gone by the wayside. People all over the world have been doing this for centuries. It’s part of why government was invented – to legitimize and systematize theft – as illustrated on the bumper sticker: Don’t steal – government hates the competition.

            • Ratso Rizzo

              The waitress showed a great degree of honesty and integrity.

              • markH

                “The waitress showed a great degree of honesty and integrity.”

                Yeah, that and $2.00 will get you a bus ride.

              • Matt

                And stupidity. Never trust the cops.

        • dog

          Agreed, you would have to be pretty stupid to trust the cops with $12,000.

          People think the government and the cops are magical and loving but they are really just people, who are armed to the teeth and used to telling everyone else what to do

          • jeebuslubsyou

            I was a Narcotics officer in Detroit. I can state with all honesty that the Police do indeed keep money from drug busts. I’m talking about the individual officers. The money they DON’T keep gets logged in. I’ve done $150,000 busts where $60K was turned in as the “official” number. It happens all the time.

    • TX4ever

      I have to agree. This is unacceptable conduct and everyone involved, including supervisors who knew this was going on and did NOTHING about it should receive reprimands in writing.

    • Joe GI

      Cops are high pay, generous pension, nice health insurance, untouchable, and invincible with powerful union and District Attorney Office. If you cannot give, please stop taking from hardworking Americans with integrity.

      If you are thinking about tainted money, take on banks and financial institutions with blood money.

      Congratulation..Moorhead and Fargo have become infamous around the world. are on TV and start to spread out.

    • Joe GI

      Moorhead police dept is not the only crooks in this tragedy and it is not fair to shine on them alone. If you demand investigation, you will find out the ugly truth. Can you
      handle the truth? Nothing will happens to these “bunch of slimy dirtballs” with powerful union and politicans behind them. They are untouchable, invincible and going immortal.

  • Nota Red

    May no good deed go unpunished. What exactly is the job of the Police, to harrass honest citizans?

    • WhereHope

      Government does not mind harassing law abiding citizens. They usually cooperate and offer little resistance. It’s hard work to go after criminals.

    • Terry

      They are revenue generators. They are no longer peace officers. They have become tax collectors and criminals themselves as they break their oath every day. They take an oath to be peace keepers and everyday they are out there breaking the constitution and disturbing the peace.

    • Bob Dobbs

      That’s exactly correct, the job of police is to harass, intimidate and control honest citizens. Dealing with actual criminals is much harder and they strongly prefer not to do that.

      The proof? Look up your local PD’s arrest blotter and see for yourself what they are spending their time on. You just might be shocked at how little actual crime they deal with.

  • Refrigerator Larry

    This has its roots in the drug war. All kinds of criminal activity committed by the government all in the name of the failed and misguided “drug war”. Its no wonder there is so little respect for law enforcement.

  • Duh Time

    Wow! Such magic. This reminds me of the sitcom ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ Smoking spirits coming out of bottles is based on Islamic religious folklore. So, Jeannie’s American master was an Air Force pilot, then 911 happened and all that…..

    • Deep Thinker

      Yah, don’t you know. I think it’s all one big conspiracy & I’m in on it, but I just don’t know how yet

    • guest

      um. wat?

  • PiggyWilf

    I love jackactionhero!

  • forestwilson

    What the customer giveth, the govenrnment taketh away. Ummm, it seems getting the government involved is never a good idea…just sayin. Forest Wilson

  • Steve

    they were preseured into doing so by all the media coverage, otherwise she wouldn’t have got a penny of that money..

    • k9s

      Right is someone is dead or dieing call the cops, otherwise NEVER EVER call the cops.

  • Gordon

    This is why people don’t respect the cops anymore. It’s institutionalized corruption now under the guise of the “War on Drugs”.

    • Larry

      Sorry, but wearing a uniform or judges’ robes doesm’t make one moral or honorable. That’s something reared into you by age 6. Unfortunately taken as a whole America’s parents are among the world’s worst and the richer they are the worse they get. Guess that’s why we have 5 traitors on the SCOTUS legalizing corruptions.

  • A. Cooper

    She would have never gotten the money back if she had not retained a lawyer. The greed perpetrated by “legalized gangters” is in itself criminal. But … thats how “legalized gangsters” … got it like dat!!

    • Joe GI

      We all pretty much have the idea that the cops want the money, otherwise this wouldn’t be a “story”. Now she has to pay hefty fee and settlement to lawyer. Then deal with IRS with her “tip” income.
      Altogether, these are enteprise criminal. Rarely these days does honesty seem to get rewarded.

      • Larry

        Yes, Joe,usually it’s punished, look at virtually every whistleblower, which includes Pvt. Manning.

  • Hendrik

    Drug residue on money? Test the money in your wallet. I’m betting at least 50% of has some sort of drug residue on it. The only reason the cops gave this woman back the money is because she filed a lawsuit and called the media, otherwise the cops would have added the money to the “widows and orphans fund” at the local police station.

  • auzzievick

    Wonderful! This was dinner table conversation for us tonight. Pleased to hear someone who really NEEDS it get it. No different than winning the lottery.

  • Ron Burgandy

    Dang that’s a lot of donuts.

  • Groveton

    How much did the lawyer get?

  • wildbill6996

    Thank God someone in that county finally removed their head from the posterior and did the right thing.

  • 4576557fefeg

    If the police could seize all cash with drug traces on it, they would never be low on funds again. . .

  • Bob

    The police Chief that is in charge of the department should be canned for letting this go nation wide and making our city look stupid!!!

    • Real Deal

      Bob , I think you deserve the village idiot award if you actually live in Moorhead. Low life.

      • Jim

        Its comments like that that give you Moorhead cops a bad name.

    • gdaddy

      Your city does not look stupid. Your cops do. This could happen in any city in America. It just hit your town this time. Cops are thugs with the support of the government. Creating more criminals puts more otherwise innocent people under the thumb of the government, with court ordered drug and alcohol testing, anger management, involvement in the raising of your kids, etc, etc, etc.

  • laffin'atcha

    Unfortunately, she’ll have to pay her attorney his fees for getting the cops to do what they should have done all along…

  • Annie

    Hopefully the lawyer did this probono and she gets to keep all the money

  • rb

    the only reason they are doing the right thing is they were forced to. these people tried to steal the money from an honest citizen. there should be a complete investigation of the department and the dishonest people that work there. every cop on the planet knows all money in circulation has drug residue. that was an attempt to intimidate this woman and ultimately take her money.

  • Moses

    Tell the cops to go to Bank America and test all their cash for drug residue and try to keep any they find residue on it. We can sit back and watch the fur fly!

    • Real Deal

      You honesty have got to be one of the most ignorant mopes on this site. SNL is hiring.

      • Joe GI

        I would rather be “the most ignorant mopes” than shameful cops or disgraced politicans when I grow up.

      • Jim

        Hey Anonymous Cop, why don’t you test the money in your wallet and turn the “drug money” portion into your sarge.

        • Real Deal

          I only carry gold coins in my pocket.

  • Dave Seavy

    This goes to show that law enforcement is about as crooked as it can get. Every piece of paper curency in the US has traces of drugs. The police department figured they could toss the cash in their coffers and get by with it. Had it not been for her attorney and the media, they would have done just that. Is it any wonder why people don’t trust our government and law enforcement? They give the rest of the law enforcement agencies a bad name, and there are plenty of honest and hard-working officers and agencies out there; they don’t need one agency making them all look bad. I hope they have to pay her attorney as well.

    • Real Deal

      This goes to show you how small minded you really are. That’s to be expected from anti-government and anti-cop type fellas as yourself. Question for all of you that are slamming the police (even tho this all started with the waitress calling the police). If the waitress called the police in the first place , is it reasonable to believe that she thought something wasn’t right about taking the 12,000.00 and therefore thought the police should be involved? SHE GOT HER MONEY in the end. Cops didn’t line there pockets with 12,000.00 as everybody that posted rhetoric yesterday were yelling foul. Foul is the accusations made by a few hundred bloggers on yesterdays story. Shameful and disgraceful. Warriors in blue know better and did what was right in the end, regardless if it took a little public pressure, they still did what was right.

      • ninjabob

        Nice try pig.

        • Real Deal

          Good one thug.

      • Al V

        Let’s be clear.
        She only “got her money in the end” because the Dept. was publicly shamed into doing the right thing after her attoney got involved. Without the publicity the attoney would have had to drag this through the courts. This dept. was grabbing the cash to pad their stats at the expense of a waitress who was just trying to do the right thing. People don’t expect that when you call the cops to report “found money” that they will simply seize it.

        • markH

          Thanks for making the point AI V. Yes, it took her a long time and the assistance of an attorney to get the police department to do what they should have done on their own.

      • cjm1952

        The problem is not that people are anti-government and anti-police. The problem is that so many government officials, including many police, are anti-citizen and anti-freedom.

      • Sum Guy

        Wana Doughnut

      • Warriors in blue, lol

        Warriors in blue??? That’s to be expected from badge licking cowards as yourself. You know perfectly well that the woman wouldn’t have gotten her money back if it hadn’t been for this story going viral.

        Never talk to the police. Don’t call them. Stay away from them. Too many of them are corrupt.

        • Real Deal

          Spoken like a wannabe marine, hmm could it be 0311. Which personality are we gonna see today?

  • Paul

    the city attempted to steal this money why should the lawyer work for free in helping get it back. If America was not such a lawless cess pool the police would be arrested and jailed for attempted larceny. But we all know they wont because America worships the police even if they are now just an organized criminal gang

  • Darrel

    The cops and city tried to rob her. Only public opinion stopped the crime.

  • felice

    If a customer gave her the money there was no need to call police. Waitress thought maybe she should & did so, but brought investigation upon herself. Not only will she have to pay lawyer BUT TAXES ON THE $12,000.00 as well.

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