Woman used $480,000 stolen from Boston Marathon fund to buy house, pay off car

BOSTON, May 20 (UPI) —

A woman who faked head injuries to get almost $500,000 from a fund for Boston Marathon bombing victims was sentenced Tuesday to up to three years.

Investigators said Audrea Gause of Troy, N.Y., submitted forged medical records to the One Fund as proof that she had suffered a brain injury and received $480,000 in compensation. She used the money to pay a contractor for a new house and to pay off her car loan.

A judge in Boston imposed a 2 1/2 to three-year prison term on Gause, who faced up to five years after pleading guilty to a single count of larceny. Prosecutors asked for four to five years.

Gause also tried to sign up for a free cruise set up by a Boston travel company for victims of the bombing.

The One Fund was set up after the bombings on April 15, 2013. Three people were killed and more than 260 were hurt.

Investigators found no evidence Gause had been in Boston during the bombings.

“It is disturbing that this defendant would attempt to steal from the real victims of the Marathon bombing through fraud and deceit,” Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said. “As a result of our investigation, we recovered all of the money and it is now being returned to The One Fund Boston. This defendant will now serve time in state prison for her actions.”

Two brothers in Boston are awaiting trial on charges of submitting a false claim for $2 million for an aunt who had died.