TROY, N.Y. - A Troy woman has been arrested and charged with collecting a fraudulent $480,000 claim from The One Fund Boston, the Massachusetts Attorney General announced Friday, after the woman allegedly claimed she suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the Boston Marathon bombing.
Attorney General Martha Coakley says 26-year-old Audrea Gause, of Troy, was arrested Friday afternoon on a Massachusetts fugitive warrant.
The AG's investigation revealed that on June 3rd, One Fund officials received a detailed and notarized claim from Gause, which included several pages of purported medical records, indicating that she had been hospitalized at the Boston Medical Center for two days, and thereafter at the Albany Medical Center for ten days.
The claim allegedly said that 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.
Based on the information contained in the claim and the attached purported medical records, Gause's claim was approved for payment and the money was subsequently sent to her in the end of June.
Last week, the AG's office received information that Gause may not have been in Boston during the Marathon Bombing in April. The investigation determined that Gause was not a patient at Boston Medical Center on the day of the bombing, nor was she a patient at Albany Medical Center at the times she claimed.
The Troy Police Department said in court that she used old hospital documents from back when she had a leg injury.
As a result of this information, investigators took immediate steps to secure the funds for return to The One Fund.
Police tell NEWS10 that Gause set up an account at a local bank, then attempted to withdrawl $400,000 in cash. She was able to get $370,000 and went to a local builder in Clifton Park to buy a house.
Gause was arrested by Massachusetts with assistance from the Troy Police Department. She in unemployed with no income and has been assigned a public defender. She has been remanded to the Rensselaer County Jail with no bail.
This is the second arrest AG Coakley's office has made in connection with attempted fraud of The One Fund. Earlier this month, a Boston man was also arrested and charged with attempting to defraud The One Fund by allegedly submitting a $2 million fraudulent claim on behalf of his aunt.
"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," said Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.
Gause has been assigned a public defender and has been remanded to Rensselear County Jail with no set bail. She is due back in court on Tuesday where she will have the option to waive extradition.
The AG's Office encourages anyone who may have information about other potential fraud to contact State Police assigned to the AG's Office at 617-963-2223.
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