An Australian man who allegedly robbed a bank in Wyoming testified that his actions were justified because he gave money to the homeless.
Corey Donaldson, 39, reportedly stole $140,000 from a Jackson Hole Bank on New Year’s Eve. Representing himself in federal court, Donaldson claimed he was redistributing the wealth.
"Since the banks had been bailed out and the people had not, I was going to confiscate money from US Bank in Jackson, Wyoming, and redistribute it to the poor and homeless in America. And that's what I did," he said.
Last week, a U.S. District judge told Donaldson he could not argue before the jury that his actions were justified.
The branch manager of the bank, Jared Thomas Williams, testified that he met with Donaldson the day of the bank robbery. He alleged Donaldson told him that Mexican cartel members were outside of the bank and would blow it up if he didn’t hand over $2 million in cash.
"There were four military-grade explosives that had been buried in the snow, and they were prepared to detonate them," Williams claimed Donaldson had told him.
Donaldson said he became homeless last year and was disgusted by how many people he met on the street who had been disenfranchised by banks who repossessed their homes. "If you knew there were foreclosed people on the streets who feel that way every day, how would you feel about it?" Donaldson asked Williams during cross-examination. The judge instructed Williams not to answer.
Having grown up in Melbourne as one of 11 children, Donaldson is now a legal resident of the United States. He was arrested in late January when authorities identified him on surveillance footage. Investigators recovered about $30,000 of the loot during his arrest.
His longtime friend, Kevin Lee Day, was also arrested. He said Donaldson gave him $8,000 after the robbery. He was emotional during his testimony, claiming the cash came at a good time for him.