Watch CBSN Live

N.C. man admits to robbing bank to get free prison healthcare

James Verone WFMY

(CBS/WFMY) Gaston County, NC - How far would you go to get a doctor's appointment?

A Charlotte-area man without health insurance says he robbed a bank earlier this month because he needed medical attention and thought a prison sentence would be the best way to get it, reports CBS affiliate WFMY.

James Verone, 59, says he walked into an RBC Bank in Gaston County, North Carolina and passed a note to the teller demanding $1 - then waited to be arrested.

The unemployed bank bandit says he thought jail was the best place to get medical care and a roof over his head.

Verone said he was hoping for a three-year sentence so when released he would be old enough to collect social security. Planning ahead, he says he's already spoken to a realtor about purchasing a condo in Myrtle Beach.

Verone told local TV station WCNC he had never been in trouble with the law before.

"If it's called manipulation, then, out of necessity, because I need medical care, then I guess I am manipulating the courts to get medical care," he told the station.

Unfortunately for the would-be bank robber, stealing $1 was only enough to get him charged with larceny from a person rather than a more serious bank robbery charge. With a conviction on that charge, Verone will likely spend less than three years in prison. 

Makes you wonder what else he might come up with.