Tags: joanna leigh | boston marathon | scammer | guilty

Joanna Leigh, Boston Marathon Charity Scammer, Pleads Guilty

Image: Joanna Leigh, Boston Marathon Charity Scammer, Pleads Guilty
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By    |   Monday, 16 Nov 2015 07:47 AM

Joanna Leigh, the accused Boston Marathon scammer, pleaded guilty to taking more than $38,500 from various charities after lying about suffering a traumatic brain injury during the 2013 marathon bombing.

Prosecutors charged that Leigh took $8,000 from the One Fund, a charity set up specifically to help victims of the marathon bombing, along with $18,390 from the Massachusetts Victims of Violent Crimes Compensation Fund, $9,357 from a GoFundMe page for her, and $1,853 from a fundraiser, reported the Boston Herald.

In all on Friday, Leigh entered guilty pleas to five larceny counts and one count of making a false claim to a government agency.

Leigh received a one-year sentence in the house of corrections, suspended for a three-year probationary term, said WBZ-TV. Suffolk Superior Court Judge Peter Krupp ordered Leigh to pay restitution, perform 300 hours of community service, undergo a mental health evaluation and treatment, said CNN.

"In her application materials, Ms. Leigh falsely claimed that she was approximately 10 feet from the second bomb when it detonated, and that her injuries included traumatic brain injury, hearing loss, vision loss, and post-traumatic stress disorder," wrote James D. Gallagher, president of the One Fund in his impact statement to the court, said the Boston Globe.

"But for Ms. Leigh's criminal conduct, this generously donated money would have been distributed to victims and survivors of the marathon during what was undoubtedly the worst time of their lives and who had both immediate and lasting financial needs," said Gallagher's statement.

CNN said Leigh had attended a marathon viewing party but left before the bombs exploded. She took two weeks to seek treatment and initially charged that she sustained injuries while running back to the blast site to help the wounded.

"If she hadn't lied about certain injuries and had told the truth instead of exaggerating, she would have probably gotten some money anyway," said Leigh's attorney Norman Zalkind, adding that he believed the sentence was appropriate.

Suffolk County district attorney Dan Conley said, though, that Leigh "lied and withheld information" to enrich herself through the process.

"While others were asking how they could help, she was asking how she could benefit," said Conley.

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Joanna Leigh, the accused Boston Marathon scammer, pleaded guilty to taking more than $38,500 from various charities after lying about suffering a traumatic brain injury during the 2013 marathon bombing.
joanna leigh, boston marathon, scammer, guilty
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2015-47-16
Monday, 16 Nov 2015 07:47 AM
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