Man Robs Bank for $1 to Receive Medical Care in Jail

A man so desperate for medical care that he was willing to rob a bank to go to jail is finally getting his wish this week: A doctor’s appointment. The 59-year old North Carolina convenience store clerk said his bank robbery of a mere $1 was his attempt to get the medical treatment he hadn’t been able to receive via the traditional route.

Man Desperate for Medical Treatment

James Richard Verone was not like most bank robbers who hide their faces, tote assault weapons and rush tellers to fill bags with money in hopes of making a quick escape. Verone casually walked into a Gaston, N.C. bank unarmed, handed the cashier a note demanding $1 then sat down and waited for police to show up.

His robbery attempt came with only one goal: Jail time for medical treatment.

After losing the job he’d held for 17 years as a Coca Cola deliveryman during the financial crisis and eventually taking a part-time position at the convenience store, he realized his medical problems–which included back and foot issues, carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis–prevented him from doing his work effectively.

Then he noticed a protrusion on his chest that brought with it pain he said he couldn’t tolerate. Having no health insurance, he was unable to get the help he needed, so he decided to take matters into his own hands.

Verone Says Treatment in Jail Is Easier to Come By

On June 9, Verone mailed a letter to the Gaston Gazette, telling the newspaper of his plans to rob the bank. He listed his forwarding address as the Gaston County Jail. Then he hailed a cab to take him to RBC Bank where he handed the teller his $1 demand on paper and waited for the police to arrive.

He was indeed taken to jail and charged with larceny instead of bank robbery since he only attempted to “steal” $1. But the initial punishment landed him enough time to make an appointment with the jail doctor for Friday.

Verone’s original bond was set for $100,000 then was reduced to $2,000, but he doesn’t plan to pay it. He hopes to stay in jail for a few years and even plans to tell the judge that he will commit the crime again if his punishment isn’t severe enough. He explained that choosing jail was just the best of a bunch of bad options and he has no regrets.

He hopes before his sentence is complete that he will receive back and foot surgery and get the protrusion on his chest treated. When he is eventually released, he wants to collect Social Security and move to the beach.