Posted at: 07/19/2013 3:10 PM
By: Maricella Miranda
A New York woman used fake hospital records to pose as a Boston Marathon bombing victim with a brain injury and fraudulently collected nearly half a million dollars from the fund for victims, Massachusetts authorities said Friday.
Audrea Gause, 26, of Troy, N.Y., was arrested there Friday on a Massachusetts fugitive warrant charging her with larceny, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said.
Gause submitted a claim to the fund last month, including several pages of false medical records indicating she was treated at hospitals in Boston and in New York for a traumatic brain injury suffered in the bombings, Coakley said. She received a $480,000 check from the fund, created to help victims of the April 15 attacks that killed three people and wounded more than 260.
Coakley said the claim alleged that Gause sustained a brain injury from the bombing and experienced long-term memory loss, impaired speech, and loss of some motor function that would require future surgery. Based on the information, Gause's claim was approved for payment.
Coakley said authorities got a tip last week that Gause may not have been in Boston on the day of the marathon, and the hospitals later said they didn't treat her.
It wasn't immediately clear whether Gause had an attorney.
It's the second allegation of a false One Fund claim.
This month, a Boston man pleaded not guilty to making a fake claim of nearly $2.2 million to compensation fund.
Branden Mattier, 22, was arraigned on charges of attempted larceny and identity theft. Bail was set at $30,000, with the conditions that he surrender his passport and undergo GPS monitoring.
Prosecutor Gina Masotta said Mattier claimed to the fund that his long-dead aunt lost her legs in the attacks. Mattier was arrested when he accepted a fake check from an undercover state trooper.
Calls to phone numbers under Gause's name in Troy were not answered.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)