He Has a Clean Conscience

North County dry cleaner returns $2,000 in cash

By Steven Luke
|  Wednesday, Jan 5, 2011  |  Updated 9:58 PM PDT
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He Has a Clean Conscience

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He Has a Clean Conscience

Forget Honest Abe -- meet Honest Hung, the owner of Park Avenue Dry Cleaners in Rancho Bernardo who recently tracked down a customer to let her know she left $2,000 cash in a pocket.
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Forget Honest Abe -- meet Honest Hung, the owner of Park Avenue Dry Cleaners in Rancho Bernardo who recently tracked down a customer to let her know she left $2,000 cash in a pocket.

An employee, Muoi Leiu, discovered the money in a jacket pocket two days before Christmas.  "Surprise!" said Leiu who called it, "big money." She quickly alerted her boss, Hung Tran, who called the customer three times before finally getting ahold of her.

"That not belong to us over here," said Tran. "If we do something wrong, something wrong happens to you. If you're not honest, you will see dishonest people."

It turns out the money wasn't even the customer's; in fact, it was her sister's, and she was supposed to deposit it for her

Tran, who moved to the United States from Viet Nam 20 years ago, said honesty is the most important policy at his business and that all of his employees are quick to hand over the countless wallets, credit cards, jewelry and cash that mistakenly end up inside customers' clothes.

Honesty runs in the family, too: Tran's wife can take credit for an even bigger find. She was tailoring a customer's jacket several years ago and found $10,000.

"He jumped up and down, gave me a hug, kissed me and tried to give me some money," Xuan Nguyen said, "but I said, 'It's not my money -- I don't take tips.' "

Apparently the only thing that leaves cleaner than the clothes at Park Avenue Cleaners is an employee's conscience.

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