A New York woman has been indicted in connection with collecting a fraudulent $480,000 claim from The One Fund Boston. The woman claimed she suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the Boston Marathon bombing.
The One Fund Boston was established to assist victims and families affected by the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings.
Attorney General Martha Coakley announced in a statement that Audrea Gause, 26, of Troy, N.Y., was indicted Monday by a Suffolk County Grand Jury on charges of Larceny over $250 and Gross Fraud.
Investigators were able to secure the $480,000 Gause allegedly stole for return to The One Fund Boston.
“We allege that this defendant fraudulently claimed she sustained a critical injury at the site of the marathon tragedy and defrauded The One Fund Boston of $480,000,” Coakley said in a statement. “This defendant allegedly attempted to steal from the real victims of the Marathon bombing, and we are pleased that we were able to recover this money for The One Fund Boston.”
Gause was arrested on July 19 by State Police assigned to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office on a fugitive warrant in Troy, N.Y. She was transported back to Massachusetts on August 1 and arraigned in Boston Municipal Court August 2. She is currently being held on $200,000 cash bail. She was indicted by a Suffolk County Grand Jury on Sept. 30 and is scheduled to be arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court on Oct. 7.
The AG’s investigation revealed that Gause submitted a notarized claim to the One Fund officials on June 3, which included several pages of purported medical records, indicating she had been hospitalized at the Boston Medical Center for two days, and thereafter at the Albany Medical Center for 10 days, according to the AG’s statement.
The claim allegedly said Gause sustained a brain injury from the Boston Marathon bombing and experienced long-term memory loss, impaired speech, and loss of some motor function that would require future surgery.
Gause’s claim was approved for payment and she received a letter from The One Fund confirming her claim was approved and subsequently paid.
The statement from Coakley’s office says authorities allege Gause gave $377,500 of the money she fraudulently obtained from The One Fund to a New York construction company as a down payment on a brand new home. Investigation also revealed that Gause signed up for a cruise, named the “Heroes Cruise,” which was being offered free of charge to victims of the Boston Marathon bombing by a Boston-based travel company.
An investigation by the AG’s office determined Gause was not a patient at Boston Medical Center on the day of the bombing and was not a patient at Albany Medical Center either.In July, a South End man was charged after submitting a $2.195 million claim to the One Fund, saying his aunt - who has been dead for more than 10 years - suffered double amputations from the bombings.