A New Jersey woman is the third person to be charged with trying to defraud the One Fund Boston, established to aid people involved in the
Iris Gamble, 44, was charged with third-degree attempted theft by deception, fourth-degree fraud and fourth-degree creating fraudulent documents, said Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park in a statement Friday. Gamble's first court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 16 in Union County Superior Court.
Gamble submitted a claim in June, saying she was injured in the April 15 explosions of two pressure-cooker bombs along Bolton Street in Boston. Three people were killed and more than 260 injured in the attack.
Gamble claimed she was in Boston and had been injured in the bombing. But the application had irregularities and was investigated, officials said.
“Before any money was distributed, One Fund Boston forwarded concerns about this claim to our office. After an initial investigation, we informed the Union County Prosecutor’s office, which agreed to further investigate the case. Attempting to steal money from the real victims of the Marathon bombing, and from the people who gave so generously to help them, is unconscionable,” Christopher Loh, a spokesperson for Massachusetts Atty. Gen.
Gamble, who withdrew her claim, is the third case of alleged fraud stemming from applications to the fund. Two of the cases were uncovered by fund investigators who then passed them on for prosecution. One person got so far as receiving money until a tip was sent in to authorities.
The person who received funds was Audrea Gause, 26, of Troy, N.Y. She was arrested on July 19 and arraigned earlier this month on larceny charges.
Gause is accused of filing a claim in June and included several "pages of purported medical records, indicating that she had been hospitalized at the Boston Medical Center for two days, and thereafter at the Albany Medical Center for ten days," Massachusetts prosecutors said. Her claim was approved by the Fund based on those records.
Officials said they received a tip that Gause was not in Boston during the bombing. The attorney general's office said it began an immediate investigation and charged Gause, who is due back in court in September.
The third case involves Branden Mattier, 22, of the South End of Boston who made a claim on behalf of his aunt. That case was uncovered by the One Fund Boston which found that the aunt had died 10 years earlier and referred the case to the attorney general's office, which brought charges.
Mattier was arrested while receiving a fake check for $2.195 million.
"We will continue our review of all claims made to ensure that the only people who receive money are the true victims of this horrible event," Loh said.