Woman Allegedly Scams Boston Victims' Fund

Melissa Stusinski

A woman who allegedly scammed the Boston Marathon bombing victims' fund has been arrested. The woman, Audrea Gause, 26, allegedly stole almost halve a million dollars from the nonprofit fund.

The One Fund Boston began distributing almost $61 million to 232 eligible claimants on June 30. Gause was given $480,000 from the fund after claiming she suffered a traumatic brain injury in the Boston Marathon bombings.

However, investigators determined that the New York woman falsified the documents she used to make her claim. They discovered that Gause wasn't in Boston at the time of the bombings, reports CNN.

In announcing the alleged Boston Marathon victim fund scammer, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley stated:

"She was stealing money from the real victims of the Marathon bombing, and from the people who gave so generously to help them."

More than 260 people were wounded and three people died in the double bombings, which happened near the finish line of April 15th's Boston Marathon.

Gause's allegedly falsified medical records claimed she sustained a brain injury in the Boston Marathon bombings, notes NBC News. As a result, the woman alleged she suffered from long-term memory loss, impaired speech, and loss of some motor function that would eventually require surgery.

The investigation began when a tip came to Coakley's office that Gause wasn't in Boston on April 15. The resulting investigation showed that she wasn't a patient at either Boston Medical Center or Albany Medical Center at the times she allegedly wrote on her notarized victims' claim form.

Gause appeared in court on Friday for a fugitive warrant hearing. She is currently being held without bail and there are indications that others may be involved in the alleged Boston fund scam. Coakley added that the investigation is still ongoing. It is not known what happened with the money Gause was given.

Coakley also stated that her office, along with The One Fund Boston, is reviewing all claims submitted to the fund, along with all claims paid out.

[image via Wikimedia Commons]