TROY, N.Y. – A Troy woman accused of stealing nearly a half million dollars from a fund set up for the Boston Marathon victims appeared in Troy City Court Tuesday morning.
Audrea Gause, 26, decided not to waive extradition during a hearing Tuesday, and will remain in Rensselaer County Jail. If Gause waived her extradition right, she would have been turned over to the custody of Massachusetts Police to face the larceny charges. She could change her mind at any time and another court date has been set for August 20.
She is accused of stealing $480,000 from the One Fund, a fund dedicated to raising money to help the victims and families most affected by the bombing at the Boston Marathon in April.
Outside of court, tensions flared from Gause's family who filled the courtroom. Her family claims she is innocent. Gause's mother told NEWS10 her daughter was an "Olympic" runner, doctor, and frequents Massachusetts often. Says she doesn't have a "criminal mind."
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said Gause was arrested July 19 on a felony Massachusetts fugitive warrant. Gause is also charged with felony grand larceny of more than $250,000.
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 read 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 at the end of June.
Last week, the AG's office received information that Gause may not have been in Boston during the Marathon Bombing. 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.
As a result of this information, investigators took immediate steps to secure the funds for return to The One Fund.
Gause was arraigned in Troy City Court July 19, and the Troy Police Department said in court that she used old hospital documents from a previous time, at which point she underwent a leg injury.
Police tell NEWS10 that Gause set up an account at a local bank and then attempted to withdraw $400,000 in cash. She was able to get $370,000 and went to a local builder in Clifton Park to build a house.
Gause is being held in Rensselaer County Jail without bail and is being represented by a public defender.
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