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Woman arrested in alleged half-million-dollar scam of Boston victims' fund

By Elizabeth Landers, CNN
July 20, 2013 -- Updated 0224 GMT (1024 HKT)
Bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, followed by a manhunt kept the Boston area reeling until the surviving suspect was captured on Friday, April 19. Pictured, the second explosion goes off near the marathon finish line on Monday while smoke from the first bomb still hangs in the air. Here's a look at how the week unfolded: Bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, followed by a manhunt kept the Boston area reeling until the surviving suspect was captured on Friday, April 19. Pictured, the second explosion goes off near the marathon finish line on Monday while smoke from the first bomb still hangs in the air. Here's a look at how the week unfolded:
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Boston bombings: A week in photos
The week in Boston in photos
The week in Boston in photos
The week in Boston in photos
The week in Boston in photos
The week in Boston in photos
The week in Boston in photos
The week in Boston in photos
The week in Boston in photos
The week in Boston in photos
The week in Boston in photos
The week in Boston in photos
The week in Boston in photos
The week in Boston in photos
The week in Boston in photos
The week in Boston in photos
The week in Boston in photos
The week in Boston in photos
The week in Boston in photos
The week in Boston in photos
The week in Boston in photos
The week in Boston in photos
The week in Boston in photos
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The nonprofit One Fund Boston is distributing $61 million to victims of the Marathon bombing
  • One woman's claim of suffering a traumatic brain injury got her nearly half a million dollars
  • Authorities got a tip the woman was not in Boston at the time of the bombing
  • A 26-year-old New York woman was arrested Friday and will face charges in Massachusetts

(CNN) -- A woman who allegedly scammed nearly half a million dollars from a nonprofit fund benefiting the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings was arrested Friday, according to Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley.

Audrea Gause, 26, was arrested in Troy, N.Y., where she lives, on a Massachusetts fugitive warrant, a statement from Coakley's office said. She is charged with larceny in Massachusetts

The nonprofit -- The One Fund Boston -- began distributing nearly $61 million to 232 eligible claimants starting June 30, according to a release from the organization.

Gause was awarded $480,000 from the fund after claiming she suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the Boston Marathon bombing.

Following a tip received by both the office of the state attorney general and The One Fund Boston that Gause was not in Boston at the time of the bombing, an official investigation began on Gause's claims, Coakley said at a news conference Friday afternoon.

That investigation determined that Gause was not a patient at Boston Medical Center or Albany Medical Center at the times allegedly entered on her notarized claim form, the statement says.

"She was stealing money from the real victims of the Marathon bombing, and from the people who gave so generously to help them," Coakley said on Friday.

The One Fund Boston divided payments up between four classifications that were based on the severity of injuries or loss of life, according to the fund's statement.

More than 260 people were wounded and 3 were killed in the double bombings, which took place near the Boston marathon finish line on April 15.

There has been some indication that there may be others involved with Gause's fraudulent claims and the investigation is still ongoing, Coakley said.

Gause appeared in Rensselaer County, New York, Court for a fugitive warrant hearing on Friday afternoon, Capt. John Cooney of the Troy Police Department told CNN.

Gause was being held without bail in the Rensselaer County Jail. Her next hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Cooney said.

It could not immediately be determined whether Gause had retained an attorney.

Coakley's statement said her office, in conjunction with The One Fund, is reviewing all claims submitted to and paid by the fund.

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