A New York woman was indicted yesterday for allegedly collecting a fraudulent $480,000 claim from The One Fund Boston, according to Attorney General Martha Coakley.
The woman claimed she suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the Boston Marathon bombing.
Audrea Gause, 26, of Troy, N.Y., faces charges of larceny over $250 and gross fraud. Gause was arrested on July 19. She is currently being held on $200,000 cash bail.
“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,” Attorney General Martha Coakley said in a statement Monday. “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.”
Coakley's investigation revealed that on June 3, 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. At the end of June, The One Fund Administrator sent Gause a letter confirming her claim had been approved and subsequently paid that claim.
Authorities allege that 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.
After receiving information that Gause may not have been in Boston during the Marathon Bombing in April, Coakley’s office commenced an immediate investigation. That investigation determined that Gause was not a patient at Boston Medical Center on the day of the bombing as claimed. Further investigation also determined that she was not a patient at Albany Medical Center at the times allegedly entered on her notarized claim form.
Investigators were able to secure the $480,000 Gause allegedly stole for return to The One Fund Boston.
Gause was arrested in Troy on July 19 on a Massachusetts fugitive warrant. She waived extradition and she was transported back to Massachusetts on August 1 by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office. On August 2, Gause was arraigned in Boston Municipal Court and held on $200,000 cash bail. She was indicted today by a Suffolk County Grand Jury.
She is due to be arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court on October 7.
Coakley’s Office has charged two other individuals with attempted fraud of The One Fund Boston. In August, two brothers from Boston were charged in connection with an attempt to defraud The One Fund Boston of $2 million by submitting a false claim on behalf of their dead aunt.
Anyone who may have information about other potential fraud may contact State Police assigned to the AG’s Office at 617-963-2223.