A New York woman used fake hospital records to pose as a Boston Marathon bombing victim with a brain injury and fraudulently collected nearly half a million dollars from the fund for victims, Massachusetts authorities said yesterday. Audrea Gause, 26, of Troy, NY, was arrested there on a Massachusetts fugitive warrant charging her with larceny, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said. Gause submitted a claim to the fund last month, including several pages of false medical records indicating she was treated at hospitals in Boston and in New York for a traumatic brain injury suffered in the bombings, Coakley said.
Gause received a $480,000 check from the fund, created to help victims of the April 15 attacks. Coakley said the claim alleged that Gause sustained a brain injury from the bombing and experienced long-term memory loss, impaired speech, and loss of some motor function that would require future surgery. Based on the information, Gause's claim was approved for payment. Coakley said authorities got a tip last week that Gause may not have been in Boston on the day of the marathon, and the hospitals later said they didn't treat her. (Read more Boston Marathon bombing stories.)