It was an honest mistake.
Dorothy Ferrante was cleaning out her home of old electronics while her son, Max, was at a Boy Scout camp.
"Any little thing hanging around, I want out," Ferrante told the New York Times, "and we're a big recycling family. Every scrap."
Among the items she brought to the Sims recycling plant in Edison, New Jersey, was Max's old computer's central-processing unit.
She didn't know 12-year-old Max, who now uses a MacBook Pro, was using the CPU as a hiding place for his savings.
Max had stashed more than $300 plus gift cards in a coffee cup and wallet inside the unit.
"I was so upset because it's, like, all my money," Max told NBC 4 New York, adding that he was hiding his money from his untrustworthy twin sister.
He was saving the money for a week-long Boy Scout camp this summer.
Ferrante "felt terrible" and called the computer recycling plant. They were determined to help the Boy Scout — and dug through 700 computers to find the money.
After a four-day search, a worker brought the found money to plant manager Jimmy Coe.
"He came running to me into my office, 'Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy...We found it! We found it! We found the kids money,'" said Coe. "'We found it in the computer.'"
On Wednesday afternoon, Max got his money back — and a tour of the plant.
He plans to keep hiding his savings, but not in a CPU.