Police: Miserly grandma shredded $1.02 million fortune on her deathbed

By Ben Hooper
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SANKT POLTEN, Austria, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- An 85-year-old grandmother cut up her $1.02-million savings on her deathbed to prevent her family members from inheriting the cash, Austrian authorities said.

Police confirmed the woman died in a retirement home in the state of Lower Austria and workers collecting her belongings discovered the woman had chopped 950,000 euros -- $1.02 million -- into small pieces on her bed in the facility.


Authorities said they determined the woman had been within her rights to destroy the money, as it was her own property. No criminal investigation has been opened.

Bank officials said the family could recover some of the fortune if enough pieces of the bills survive. Friedrich Hammerschmidt of Oesterreichische Nationalbank said the family will likely be able to recover their inheritance.

"If the heirs can only find shreds of money and if the origin of the money is assured, then of course it can all be replaced," he told the Kurier newspaper. "If we didn't pay out the money then we would be punishing the wrong people."

Hammerschmidt said the bank normally does not replace intentionally destroyed money, but an exception can be made in cases where the person who destroyed the bills may not have been in their right mind.


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