AG: Man tries to defraud One Fund with claim for long-dead aunt
A South End man was arrested Tuesday after he tried to claim his already dead aunt was a double amputee as a result of the bombings.
A South End man was arrested Tuesday after authorities said he tried to defraud the charity set up to help the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Branden Mattier, 22, was arrested at his home Tuesday when an undercover state trooper presented him with a fake check from the One Fund for more than $2.1 million, according to Attorney General Martha Coakley's office. He was charged with attempted larceny.
Authorities allege that Mattier attended a town hall meeting in May about the fund's distribution. He inquired about making a claim on behalf of his aunt, Onevia Bradley, who he said may need a double amputation in the future.
He then sent a follow up e-mail to fund officials with a letter from the chief of trauma services at Boston Medical Center. But officials at Boston Medical Center confirmed to the One Fund that Mattier's aunt never received treatment there in connection with the bombing, nor did the letter originate from them.
Suspecting fraud, One Fund officials referred the matter to authorities who determined that Mattier's aunt had actually died 10 years ago.
Authorities set up a sting, delivered the fake check Tuesday and arrested him.
"Because every dollar was allocated to victims, he sought to take these funds away from real victims of the Marathon attack and from the thousands of people who had so generously given to help those who truly need it. We commend The One Fund for uncovering this and for referring it to our office for further investigation," Coakley said in a statement.
The One Fund was set up by Mayor Thomas Menino and Gov. Deval Patrick shortly after the bombings to help those affected by the attacks. Victims had to submit claim forms by the middle of last month and checks are in the process of being distributed.
To date, people have donated more than $62.5 million to the fund.
Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.