BOSTON, Mass. (WGGB) – A New York woman has been arrested after she allegedly filed a fraudulent claim with The One Fund Boston, claiming she was injured during the marathon bombing, and collected nearly half a million dollars.
Friday afternoon, Mass. State Troopers, with assistance of the Troy, N.Y. Police Department, arrested 26-year-old Audrea Gause of Troy, N.Y. on a fugitive warrant issued out of Massachusetts.
According to Mass. Attorney General Martha Coakley, Gause is being charged with Larceny over $250.
Coakley’s office says that on June 3, officials with The One Fund received a “detailed and notarized claim” from Gause that included several pages of “purported medical records.” The records, according to the Attorney General’s office, indicated that Gause had been hospitalized at Boston Medical Center for two days, then Albany Medical Center for ten days.
The claim to The One Fund allegedly said that Gause sustained a brain injury from the marathon bombings and has long-term memory loss, impaired speech, and loss of some motor functions.
Coakley’s office adds that “based on the information contained in the claim and the attached purported medical records,” the administrator of the fund sent Gause a letter at the end of June indicating that her claim had been approved and was subsequently paid out $480,000.
However, the Attorney General’s office received information last week, indicating that Gause may not have been in Boston during the bombings, and based on this information, Coakley’s office began an investigation, which allegedly found that Gause was not a patient at Boston Medical Center the day of the bombings and was not a patient of Albany Medical Center at the times entered on the notarized forms.
“We allege that this defendant defrauded The One Fund Boston of $480,000. By doing this, she was stealing money from the real victims of the Marathon bombing, and from the people who gave so generously to help them. I want to thank The One Fund Boston for their work and great cooperation during this investigation, and also thank Albany and Troy Police Departments for their assistance,” Coakley said Friday.
Boston Mayor Tom Menino adds, “It is terrible to think that people would compound the Marathon tragedy by stealing money from survivors, but I am grateful we have such excellent partners in the Attorney General, in law enforcement, in the One Fund, and in a watchful public.”
Based on the investigation, immediate steps were taken to secure the funds, so they could be returned to the fund.
Caokley’s office says that they continue to work in conjunction with The One Fund Boston to review all claims submitted to and paid by the One Fund. So far, their investigation finds no other fraudulent activity.
Friday’s arrest marks the second arrest made in connection with attempted fraud from The One Fund Boston. A
Boston man was arrested earlier this month after he allegedly filed a fraudulent $2 million claim on behalf of his aunt.
Auditors have also been retained by the fund’s board of directors to “review the payments and provide additional assurance to donors and survivors,” the Attorney General’s office adds.
If anyone may have information on or suspect any other potential fraud, you are asked to call the State Police assigned to Coakley’s office at (617) 963-2223.