A woman in Boston pleaded "not guilty" to fraudulently receiving thousands of dollars from The One Fund and other charity funds after claiming she was injured in the Boston Marathon bombing. According to CBS Boston, Joanna Leigh was arraigned on 30 March on charges of larceny and making a false claim to a government agency.
Leigh, who was described by her attorney as "a very fragile person," allegedly received $8,000 (£5,412.81) from The One Fund, $18,000 (£12,178.83) from a state victims' compensation fund, $9,000 (£6,089.41) from an online fundraiser and $1,700 (£1,150.22) from a Boston school students' fundraiser.
The woman not only received monetary support, she allegedly received a new bathroom courtesy of the Boston Survivors Accessibility Alliance, an investigation by WCVB found.
The Jamaica Plain resident was released without bail, ordered to surrender her passport and not to travel outside of New England or New York, CBS Boston reported.
Leigh claims she suffered traumatic brain injuries along with hearing loss and vision impairment during the bombings and that the charges against her are retaliation after she criticized The One Fund. However, police say that while she was at the April 2013 marathon, she was not injured.
On 27 March, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans stated, "I saw first-hand the injuries true victims suffered on that day. Ms. Leigh saw an opportunity to take advantage of kind-hearted individuals who wanted to help those victims. I am grateful to the Boston Police Special Investigations Unit and the DA's Special Prosecutions Unit for their exceptional work in this complex investigation."
The 41-year-old is not the first to be charged with taking thousands from The One Fund following the Boston Marathon.
In January 2015, another woman from Portland, Maine, was arrested and charged with larceny and attempted larceny. Forty-nine-year-old Amey Molloy allegedly collected $8,000 (£5,412.81) from The One Fund and then attempted to collect an additional $12,000 (£8,119.22), WCVB reported.
Molloy reportedly sent The One Fund several pages of medical records of her purported surgery for a foot injury she claimed she suffered during the bombings. WCVB reported that prosecutors said investigations revealed portions of her medical records were not authentic and she was not treated for bombing-related injuries.
A New York woman and two brothers from Boston were sentenced to two-and-a-half to three years and three years respectively in state prison for fraudulently making claims to The One Fund.