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UPDATE: FDIC economist charged with trying to rob bank

Thursday, May 14, 2009 | 4:21 p.m. CDT

KANSAS CITY — An economist on leave from the federal agency that insures bank deposits has been charged with the April 11 attempted robbery of a Kansas City-area bank.

Jeff Walser said he had a bomb in his briefcase and demanded money at the Bank of America branch in Independence, but did not take $41,000 brought to him by an employee, according to an indictment filed Tuesday.

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Walser, 51, surrendered to police and was being held in federal custody, the U.S. attorney's office said.

Walser told police that he has health problems and was "alone, discouraged and tired of working" and that his plan was to be arrested and not tell police he required thrice-weekly dialysis treatments to survive.

"I wanted to be arrested and I wanted to die," he is quoted as saying. "But after my arrest, I did not have the will to kill myself."

Walser worked for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s Kansas City office and was on leave at the time of the robbery, agency spokesman Andrew Gray said.

Messages left Thursday for Walser's public defender were not immediately returned.


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