Rabbi Noah Muroff of New Haven said he and his wife brought the desk home and discovered it would not fit through the door of their office without being disassembled, WTNH-TV, New Haven, reported Monday.
"Behind the drawers there is this plastic bag, like a shopping," Muroff said. "In the bag, I could already see through the bag, it looks like a one hundred dollar bill.
"We open it up and it's full of cash. And we counted up and there's $98,000 cash sitting in the bag," he said.
Muroff said he and his wife called the desk's former owner, who said she had hidden her inheritance in the desk long ago and forgotten the hiding place.
The rabbi said he and his wife were happy to return the cash to the grateful woman. He said the most important thing in life is to be honest.