WOMAN ARRESTED: One Fund Boston Scam
(CNN) — A woman accused of scamming nearly half a million dollars from a nonprofit fund benefiting the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings was arraigned Friday at Boston Municipal Court, a Massachusetts office said.
Andrea Gause, 26, was arrested on July 19 in her hometown of Troy, New York, on a Massachusetts fugitive warrant, a statement from Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office said.
Gause is formally charged with larceny over $250, to which she pleaded not guilty. Judge Thomas C. Horgan set her bail at $200,000 cash, the statement said.
The nonprofit — The One Fund Boston — began distributing nearly $61 million to 232 eligible claimants starting June 30, according to a release from the organization.
Gause was awarded $480,000 from the fund after claiming she suffered a traumatic brain injury resulting in long-term memory loss, impaired speech and loss of some motor function that would require future surgery as a result of the Boston Marathon bombing, the attorney general’s office said.
After a tip received by both the state attorney general and The One Fund Boston that Gause was not in Boston at the time of the bombing, an official investigation began, Coakley said at a news conference on July 19.
That investigation determined that Gause was never a patient at Boston Medical Center for two days or Albany Medical Center for 10 days, as she declared on her notarized claim form, the statement says.
“She was stealing money from the real victims of the Marathon bombing, and from the people who gave so generously to help them,” Coakley said.
The money has since been returned to the One Fund Boston, Friday’s statement said.
The One Fund Boston divided payments between four classifications that were based on the severity of injuries or loss of life, according to the fund’s statement.
More than 260 people were wounded and three were killed in the double bombings, which took place near the Boston Marathon finish line on April 15.
Gause will next appear in Boston Municipal Court on September 4 for a pretrial hearing, according to Coakley’s office.