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What you need to know for 01/21/2017

Woman accused of defrauding Marathon bombing victims' fund appears in court

Woman accused of defrauding Marathon bombing victims' fund appears in court

Andrea Gause, 26, the Troy woman who is accussed of fradulently collecting $480,000 from The One Fun

Andrea Gause, 26, the Troy woman who is accussed of fradulently collecting $480,000 from The One Fund Boston, appeared in Troy Police Court this morning before Judge Meier.

Gause claimed she suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the bombing. The One Fund Boston is a foundation that provides assistance for victims of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing.

“We allege that this defendant defrauded The One Fund Boston of $480,000,” Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said last week when discussing Gause's arrest. “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.”

The attorney general’s investigation revealed that on June 3, One Fund officials received a detailed and notarized claim from Gause. The claim included several pages of purported medical records that indicated she had been hospitalized at Boston Medical Center for two days after the bombings and then at the Albany Medical Center for an additional 10 days.

The claim said 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.

Gause’s claim was approved, and at the end of June she received the payment from The One Fund Boston.

The Attorney General’s Office received information last week that Gause may not have actually been in Boston during the bombing. An investigation took place immediately, and it was revealed Gause was not a patient at Boston Medical Center on the day of the bombing and she was also not a patient at Albany Medical Center during the time she claimed she was.

Coakley said the Attorney General’s Office has reason to believe Gause has a medical history and was in Massachusetts at the end of May, but there was no connection to the bombing.

Gause was arrested near her home on a charge of larceny over $250 on a Massachusetts fugitive warrant by state police assigned to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, with assistance from the Troy Police Department.

Coakley said Gause will be arraigned on the fugitive warrant in New York and will be brought to Boston if she waives extradition.

Coakley also said investigators are making every effort to secure the money given to Gause. Coakley said she believes the money will be returned to be distributed to legitimate victims.

“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,” Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino said.

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