N.Y. woman accused of defrauding Boston bombing fund of $480,000
A New York woman who allegedly used forged hospital documents to pose as a victim of the Boston Marathon bombings was arrested Friday after collecting nearly half a million dollars from the fund for victims, Massachusetts Atty. Gen. Martha Coakley announced.
Audrea Gause, 26, of Troy, N.Y., was charged with larceny after receiving a $480,000 check from One Fund Boston, the group created to help victims of the April 15 attacks that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.
Gause backed up her claim of traumatic brain injury by allegedly submitting detailed but false medical records documenting stays at the Boston Medical Center and the Albany Medical Center. She said she was struggling with long-term memory loss, impaired speech, and loss of motor function.
It’s unclear whether the records might have been fabricated from scratch or were doctored versions of forms to which Gause already had access. The claim she submitted was notarized, according to a statement issued Friday by the attorney general’s office.
One Fund Boston sent her a check at the end of June. But last week, Coakley received information that Gause hadn’t been in Boston on the day of the bombings.
The scheme quickly collapsed, and investigators stepped in.
This is the second arrest the attorney general has made in connection with fraudulent claims to One Fund Boston. Earlier this month, a Boston man was arrested for submitting a false $2-million claim on behalf of his aunt. He was caught before a check was issued.
One Fund Boston has finished processing claims, but in its statement, the attorney general’s office said it was actively reviewing all claims and payouts.
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