Joanna Leigh: Boston Marathon Scammer Pleads Guilty To Taking $40,000

Joanna Leigh is now admitting to scamming people after the Boston Marathon bombing. CNN shared that Leigh actually faked being a victim during the 2013 bombing. Joanna Leigh actually said that she was a victim in the bombing, but that was not true at all. Leigh was able to get over $40,000 from private donors and public agencies. She was never a victim at all, and Leigh was just saying this to get money from people. Joanna actually admitted to five counts of larceny over $250 by false pretenses and one count of making a false claim to a government agency.

Leigh did go to a viewing party when the bombing happened. She was at the party, but left the area before the bomb went off. Joanna Leigh was not even in the area at all by the time that the bombing happened and instead had already went home. There was no way that she could be injured, but Leigh said that she was so she could money. After two weeks, Leigh went and said that she was injured. She tried to claim that she ran back to help people who were wounded and received injuries, but this is not true.

Joanna Leigh actually went as far as to start a page on GoFundMe, that was in a fake name, and get $9,350 dollars from it. She even got $900 in free dermatology services for having redness on her face, which Leigh had actually been treated for before this ever happened. One Fund Boston gave her $8,000 for being a victim of the bombing. Obviously, that is not true considering Joanna wasn’t even really there when the bomb went off in Boston. Leigh was actually angry that this was all the money that they gave her and felt like she should get more from them for this because she could have died. The president of the One Fund, James D. Gallagher, released a victim impact statement about what happened. Here is part of what he had to say in it.

“It is unfortunate that when the leaders and citizens of our extraordinary city came together to establish the One Fund in the wake of the marathon bombings, there are individuals who saw the fund as an opportunity for fraudulent claims at the expense of the victims.”

Joanna Leigh’s defense attorney does say that she suffered from PTSD, but the other injuries were obviously exaggerated. The Spread It shared that Joanna Leigh did apologize for taking the money that didn’t belong to her. She got lucky enough that she will not be going to jail, but Leigh is expected to pay back every single bit of the money and as fast as possible. Leigh also has to do 300 hours of community service for her crimes. Joanna will be on probation for three years and she will also be going through a mental health evaluation. If they find that Joanna needs mental health care, she will have to go through any treatment that is suggested for her. Her lawyer feels like if Joanna hadn’t lied about some things, then she would have still got some money for the PTSD. The fact that she exaggerated it all though made it where she couldn’t get any money. If she doesn’t end up doing what is required of her, Joanna Leigh could end up going to jail, but hopefully she just does what the judge has told her to do now that she was found guilty.

Are you shocked to hear that Joanna Leigh took over $40,000 that really belonged to victims of the Boston Marathon bombing? Do you think that she should have spent time behind bars for her crimes? Sound off in the comments below on your thoughts.

[Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images]