New Jersey woman charged with fraudulent claim on Boston bombing fund

NEWARK (REUTERS) - A New Jersey woman has been charged with submitting fraudulent injury claims to a charity set up to aid victims of the Boston Marathon terrorist bombings, prosecutors said on Friday.

Union County prosecutors said Iris Gamble, 44, of Linden, New Jersey, submitted a false claim with the One Fund Boston, which was established after the April 15 bombing attack that killed three and injured about 264 people, mainly spectators crowded at the finish line.

Gamble is the third person charged with filing false claims for benefits from the fund, which has raised more than US$60 million (S$76 million) for victims of the largest mass-casualty attack on United States soil since the Sept 11, 2001 attacks.

Gamble submitted the claims on June 11, claiming to have been treated at a Newark hospital for injuries sustained in the bombing. However, the application was flagged due to misspellings and other irregularities, prosecutors said. The Massachusetts attorney general forwarded the case to Union County officials.

"Our investigation revealed that the defendant was not in Boston on the day of the bombings," said acting Union County Prosecutor Grace Park. "The defendant wasted little time in trying to profit from the generosity and kindness of others."

Gamble was charged on Thursday with third degree theft by deception, fourth degree fraud and fourth degree creating fraudulent documents. Her first appearance in Union County Superior Court is scheduled for Aug 16th.

She could not be reached for comment on Friday.

Last month, a Troy, New York, woman was charged with larceny after fraudulently receiving nearly US$480,000 in benefits from the fund, claiming she suffered a traumatic brain injury. A Boston man was arrested in July for submitting a false US$2 million claim on behalf of his aunt.

About 250 people have applied for money from the One Fund charity, set up to benefit the families of those killed and those who lost limbs in the blasts.