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Man who rained cash on Minnesota mall wants to give away more

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[December 05, 2013]  By Lisa Maria Garza

(Reuters)  A Minnesota man ticketed for disorderly conduct after he flung $1,000 in mostly small bills over a balcony at the nation's largest mall during a heavy holiday shopping day wants to give away more money, he said on Monday.

Serge Vorobyov was banned from the Mall of America in suburban Minneapolis for a year for the publicity stunt on Black Friday that has drawn attention from national media.

Vorobyov, 29, said he hoped a YouTube video of the stunt would continue to generate thousands of views so he could potentially earn money from the advertising revenue and spread the wealth.

Vorobyov said he is in the middle of a messy divorce and was forced recently to close his car-hauling business. He said he emptied his bank account and stamped the cash with his Facebook and YouTube account information.

He tossed the cash -- he said it was a mixture of a $100 bill, several $20s, $10s, $5s and 600 $1-bills -- when a group began to sing "Let it Snow."

"I had such an adrenaline rush, just throwing the money out like a madman," Vorobyov said Monday.

Mall of America said it was sympathetic to Vorobyov's personal situation, but the stunt threatened the safety of shoppers and he was banned from mall property for a year. More than 235,000 shoppers went to the mall on Friday, it said.

"By throwing money into a crowd, Mr. Vorobyov could have caused people to get injured by trying to scramble for the money or by falling over the railings -- some of which are more than 40 feet above the ground level," spokesman Dan Jasper said in an email.

Vorobyov was held by mall security until officials confirmed his stunt had resulted in no injuries. He said he planned to write a letter of apology to mall officials and hoped people would understand he wasn't seeking monetary gain.

"I don't see how holiday cheer is disorderly conduct," he said.

(Reporting by Lisa Maria Garza in Dallas; Editing by David Bailey and Leslie Adler)

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