A boarding-school-educated Briton has revealed in a podcast how he robbed banks in an attempt to pay for IVF.
Reed Domingo, 58, who now lives in Maidenhead, Berkshire, was living in San Diego when he stole more than $64,000 (£50,000) in cash during numerous bank robberies between June 2000 and July 2001.
He was arrested a year later, during a dawn raid by FBI agents of the home he shared with his wife Patrice, now 64, daughter Angelique, now 24, and his stepson.
After being tried – and found guilty on all counts of robbery – Reed was sentenced to nearly four years in prison and deported to the UK, where he had to remain because his criminal record means he cannot re-enter the United States.
Despite campaigning to re-enter the country for nearly 20 years, he has so far failed to return. His wife and daughter still live in the United States and the trio would like to live together as a family.
The couple (pictured on their wedding day) spent thousands of dollars on IVF before their daughter Angelique was born in 1998
In his podcast Time with Mr. ReedReed, who was born and raised in Abergavenny, Wales, to South African parents, talks about his idyllic family life, and how it was shattered one morning when he was arrested.
Describing the early morning hours that day during the first episode of Time with Mr Reed, Domingo says, “I really had a lot to be thankful for. Next to me lay the love of my life: my beautiful California blonde Patrice.
“We had met 15 years before and were married for nine years. I would honestly say I was definitely married to my soulmate.”
The couple had met after Reed (whose first name is Ridwaan) moved to San Diego while working for his father’s biotech company.
In the episode, he continues, “We had a beautiful Cape Cod style home painted yellow and set on six and a half acres surrounded by 600 orange trees with 360 degree views of the ocean and Southern California mountains.”
He then went on to describe his and Patrice’s “award winning achievement” – their daughter Angelique, who was conceived after five years of nine grueling rounds of IVF.
According to Reed, the treatments had cost more than $250,000, and after Angelique’s birth in 1998, the family’s debts spiraled.
Speaking on the podcast, he says, “All day long I just felt like everything was coming at me…I couldn’t sleep…how can I get myself out of this?”
According to Reed Domingo, he knew that bank clerks had to hand over cash without resistance during robberies
Reed (pictured with wife Patrice and daughter Angelique) has described his wife as the love of his life, and their daughter as their crowning glory
He was working as a programmer for a credit union at the time and was aware that bank clerks were told to hand over cash without resistance when robbed.
So one day, when he found himself nearly $10,000 short of paying bills, he told himself he would commit a robbery the next day.
And so the next day during his lunch break, Reed grabbed a motorcycle helmet (a decoy, so the police were looking for a motorcyclist, not a driver) and drove to a bank branch on a highway so that he could easily merge into traffic when pulling away from the theatre.
In an effort to hide his British accent, he printed a note to hand to the cashier, demanding the money.
The note read, “Keep calm. We’re not kidding. Follow these instructions and everything will be fine. Put $10,000 in the bag. Use 100s, 50s and 20s. No fake money, no paint packs.’
Despite telling himself he wouldn’t do it again, Reed admits that he “felt great” after the robbery and that he bought time for himself.
In the following months, he committed more robberies, once letting Angelique sleep in the car during the crime.
According to the website accompanying the podcast, “Over the course of a year, from June 2000 to June 2001, Reed robbed 11 more banks, with mixed (and sometimes hilarious) results.
“From exploding paint packs to forgetting his gun and giving a $2,000 tip to a friendly cashier, Reed’s heists range from slick to slapstick.”
When the FBI raided Domingo and Patrice’s home in June 2002, they not only found the clothes he wore during the robberies, but were able to identify him from photographs taken by Patrice during the robberies.
Reed (pictured) is currently trying to return to the US, where the family reportedly wants to live together
He pleaded guilty to all charges of robbery and was sentenced to 46 months.
The name of his podcast, Time with Mr Reed, refers to his time in Los Angeles’ Terminal Island Prison, where he acted as a teacher to his fellow inmates and helped them earn their high school diplomas.
After serving his term in office, he was deported to the UK in 2005, where he worked as a personal trainer.
Despite moving to the UK in 2010, Patrice and Angelique did not settle in the area. His wife returned to the United States in 2013 and his daughter followed after completing her GCSEs and A-levels.
Reed Domingo continues his efforts to return to the US.