Woman indicted for stealing funds from Boston Marathon victims

By Amy R. Connolly  |  March 27, 2015 at 8:40 AM
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BOSTON, March 27 (UPI) -- A Boston woman who said she was injured as a result of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing was indicted on charges she stole money from a fund for victims.

Joanna Leigh, 41, said she suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the explosions that killed three and injured 260. She denies the allegations she stole from One Fund Boston, established in the wake of the bombing to financially support victims. She said her indictment is retribution for her vocal criticism about the way the funds are dispersed.

Prosecutors say she fraudulently received nearly $40,000 from One Fund Boston and other sources. She was charged with larceny and making a false claim to a government agency.

She told The Boston Globe she would plead not guilty to the charges because her injuries are real. She and others have said the fund did not properly compensate for injuries due to the way it calculates payments. An injury with an overnight stay garners an $8,000 payment. Those who are hospitalized receive $125,000 or more.

"I don't think this is about me; I think this is because I spoke out about The One Fund," she told the Globe . "I think this is about killing the messenger. I went after the governor and the mayor's charity, and I didn't shut up about it, and I caused them trouble."

Meanwhile, the trial for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, accused of planting two bombs at the race finish line along with his brother, continues in Boston. His brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died in a shootout with police.

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