Woman Can't Shake Guilty Conscience for Decades After Stealing Money

A woman who worked in a Mexican restaurant more than 20 years ago stole from her boss. She has carried a guilty conscience ever since, and finally wanted to relieve herself of that guilt. She sent her former boss $1,000 and a letter of apology to make amends. The restaurant owner says she was deeply moved by the touching gesture.

Carlotta Flores, the owner of El Charro in Tucson, Arizona, was shocked when she got a letter in the mail from an old employee. The letter arrived last week, and contained not only a message; it also contained $1,000 in cash.

The letter writer explained that she worked for Flores for a brief period in the 1990s while she was a student at the University of Arizona. She says she stole money from Flores, and still feels bad about it.

"One of the waiters I worked with had encouraged me to 'forget' to ring in a few drinks a shift and pocket the cash. And for some stupid reason, I did it," the woman wrote. "I grew up in the church, I knew better. I hadn't stolen a dime before then, nor have I since."

The woman says she couldn't have stolen too much, by her calculations. "Thankfully, I was a terrible waitress and you all fired me before it could amount to more than a few hundred dollars total," she explained.

"It's been 20 years, but I still carry great remorse," the woman continued. "I am very sorry that I stole from you. Please accept my apology + this money as a repayment + 20 years of interest. May God forever bless you + your family."

Flores was stunned by the letter, and the money. She says she recently been robbed, and had been feeling a little cynical. This letter came in the nick of time and turned things around. "I had my purse stolen and this sort of renewed the faith that we had a lot of good people out there," the restaurant owner told CNN in an interview.

She showed the letter to the rest of her employees, and they were all touched by the writer's attempt at setting things right. Some were even moved to tears by the woman's apology.

"I don't know where she's at or who she is but I will tell you one thing. I hope that she's read or has seen what an impact this has made not only on me, my family, my business but where it will go in the future so I hope she keeps looking to see what we're doing with it," Flores said.

Flores hopes the woman will contact her, as she would like to return the money.

For anyone who continues to feel bad over a past mistake, it can help to track down the person you have wronged and make amends. If you can't find the person, consider contacting the U.S. Treasury's
'Conscience Fund', a place where you can donate the money to alleviate your guilt.

Few people know about the fund, which has been around since 1811. You can donate the money anonymously, and most people are not pursued for committing crimes. The largest donation to the fund to date was almost $155,000. Some people have returned as little as a few cents-- such as one guilt-riddled American who paid 9 cents because he used the wrong postage stamp.

Source: CNN
Photos: CNN Screenshot

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