Man Robs Bank For $1 To Receive Free Health Care In Jail

On June 9th, a desperate former Coca-Cola employee named James Richard Verone robbed a bank in Gastonia, North Carolina for $1 because he wanted free meals and health care. More from the Gaston Gazette:

When his career as a cola delivery man ended some three years ago, Verone was knocked out of his comfort zone.

He hopped back in the saddle driving a truck. But that employment didn’t have near the longevity, and Verone found himself jobless.

He lived off of savings and sought a part-time job.

Not his first choice, Verone became a convenience store clerk. But the bending, standing and lifting were too much for him. The Gastonia man’s back ached; problems with his left foot caused him to limp. His knuckles swelled from arthritis, and carpal tunnel syndrome made daily tasks difficult.

Then he noticed a protrusion on his chest.

Strapped for cash, Verone looked into filing for disability. He applied for early Social Security.

The only thing Verone qualified for was food stamps. The extra money helped, but he felt desperate. He needed to get medical attention, and he refused to be a burden on his sister and brothers.

“The pain was beyond the tolerance that I could accept,” he said. “I kind of hit a brick wall with everything.”

Of course, as you might have guessed from the headline, the logical conclusion of this tale of economic hardship and woe was realized on the 9th at a Gastonia bank with Verone handing the teller a note that demanded one dollar and medical attention. “I told the teller that I would sit [in the waiting area] and wait for police,” Verone told the Gazette.

While this incident seems like either something out of a Kafka novel or a ballsy move of social activism, Verone told the Gazette that he had no other choice; he “exercised all the alternatives.” His plan, in all, is to land a spot in prison, ideally receiving foot and back surgery and getting the protrusion in his chest diagnosed. After that, he hopes to be released in time to receive Social Security and move to the beach with the money.

Verone is currently awaiting trial on one count of larceny. With a $2,000 (reduced from $100,000) bond that he says he won’t pay, Verone now shares a cell in the local jail and receives three meals a day. If at trial his penalty is not great enough, he told the Gazette that he will deliver an ultimatum to the court: another robbery will occur. TC mark

via reddit/image – Shayan Sanyal


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  • Michael Koh

    he *won’t pay

  • O'Malley

    There’s no real response to this that everyone isn’t already thinking. I thank my lucky stars every day for my job and health insurance.

  • Guest

    I wish that this would bring some attention to the urgent issues in health care, but I know it won’t. What a shame.

  • Guest

    People… come to Canada. We will take care of you.

    • Klaus

      ….with cheap buses to the USA for quicker medical service.

      • Nick vdK

        That quicker medical service seemed to work out great for Verone.

  • Hannah Foster.

    Oh my, please can I just hug him?

  • Aja

    This poor guy.  People that don’t think that our health care situation is desperate are living behind some rose tinted goggles. 

  • Guest

    dude rules imo

  • Anonymous

    i’ve never been more happy my dad sold his soul to the insurance industry to pay for his family/provide coverage for me until i’m 26. thanks dad! happy father’s day!!

  • jacquesdacroc

    Cool story bro. I have heard that Poles have committed minor crimes in Sweden intending to reap the perks of incarceration, namely free healthcare and meals in jail during freezing winter months. 

  • Jillypants

    i have often thought to myself that should i ever find myself homeless and destitute, i would commit a crime. but it’s significantly more sad and disheartening to read about it actually happening than i thought it would be.

  • franticdoll

    Meanwhile, the banks continue to rob countless men and women in this country, many of whom can’t get healthcare or a meal. That’s the real crime.

  • Anonymous

  • Anonymous

  • Caleb Reidy

    ‘he refused to be a burden on his sister and brothers’ oh self-sufficient individualistic society.

  • Caleb Reidy

    ‘he refused to be a burden on his sister and brothers’ oh self-sufficient individualistic society.

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