TORONTO (CP) - A mother of six children who relies on social assistance to support her family has been rewarded for turning in $40,000 that she found on a busy east-end street - proving, she says, that honesty is the best policy.

Debbie Peliti says TD Canada Trust offered her a $2,000 "finder's fee" for her unwavering integrity. "Hey, it wasn't mine - it didn't belong to me," Peliti said Wednesday, adding she just can't understand all the fuss over her incredible story. "It's my upbringing. I do the same with my kids."

A spokesman for TD Canada Trust said he's "delighted" by her good deed.

"First and foremost, we really appreciate this woman doing the right thing," said Jeff Keay. "We're extending an appropriate gesture of our appreciation."

Peliti's not sure how she'll spend her reward money, but hints Santa might be extra-generous this year: "Definitely, there's a lot of kids I have."

The woman dumbfounded bank officials Monday when she turned in a plastic bag brimming with bundles of crisp bills that she found in the middle of Kingston Road. She returned moments later carrying armfuls of errant bills, loosened by passing cars and buried in the road's slush.

The value of the recovered cash is estimated at between $20,000 and $40,000, Keay said.

The bank is continuing its investigation, but it doesn't appear the cash came from the branch.

"The money in the branch all balances," Keay said. "We're still kind of working out, doing all the math, and trying to figure out exactly where it originated."


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