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Australian gets 70 months for US bank heist

July 11, 2013

CHEYENNE, Wyoming (AP) — A U.S. judge has handed down a nearly six-year prison sentence to an Australian man who says he robbed a bank so he could give money to the homeless.

The judge said Corey Donaldson, 40, likely will be deported after his 70-month prison term.

Representing himself at trial, Donaldson likened himself to Robin Hood, saying he was justified in taking more than $140,000 from a bank in Wyoming on Dec. 31 because he used much of the cash to save the lives of homeless people.

“You haven’t lived until you have served others in such a way that they can never pay you back,” Donaldson told the judge.

He apologized for terrifying the bank manager by falsely claiming the bank building was rigged with explosives.

Donaldson was arrested on Jan. 22 in Utah. Officers recovered more than $30,000 from Donaldson and in a room he had rented in an upscale hotel. At trial, officers testified they found $11,000 stuffed into envelopes and addressed to Donaldson’s relatives.

Donaldson told the judge he came to the U.S. after marrying a U.S. citizen and stayed, sometimes without a home, after a divorce.

Donaldson argued that banks racked up record profits while forcing people into homelessness through foreclosures. He said his father lost the family home in Australia in a bank default years ago and once considered suicide as a means of providing for 10 children from life insurance proceeds.

Prosecutor Todd Shugart emphasized that Donaldson was prepared to ship money to family overseas. “His claim of carrying out this act to benefit the poor is simply disingenuous,” Shugart said.

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