Joanna Leigh, a Boston Marathon attendee, claimed she was injured in the 2013 bombing. The 41-year-old confessed to abusing $40,000 in funds from public charities and private donors she alleged to have use for treatment of injuries that included traumatic brain injury, post traumatic stress disorder, and vision and hear loss.
CNN reports Nov. 14 that Leigh of Boston admitted to “five counts of larceny over $250 by false pretenses and one count of making a false claim to a government agency,” according to Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley.
Joanna Leigh was at a viewing party for the Boston Marathon, but left before the bombing occurred. Her injuries weren’t immediately reported, but she took two weeks to seek treatment. Leigh said she sustained injuries while returning to the blast site to help those wounded.
Conley said of Leigh’s Boston Marathon story: “At every step, she lied and withheld information to generate money, services and sympathy for herself. While others were asking how they could help, she was asking how she could benefit.”
The woman was given an $8,000 payment from One Fund Boston, about $9,350 through a GoFundMe page she made up by using an alias, and $1,850 from a student-run fundraiser at the Mildred Avenue Middle School in Mattapan. Additionally, Leigh also received roughly $18,000 in cash and services through the Massachusetts Victims of Violent Crime Compensation program, an estimated $900 in cosmetic dermatology services for facial redness — this was a procedure she allegedly had done at least once before the bombings.
Boston Police and Suffolk County investigators were suspicious of Joanna Leigh’s Boston Marathon scheme after examining financial and medical records, along with reviewing surveillance video and hearing more from witness testimony and getting medical opinions. Not only that, but Leigh’s stories were contradictory to the media.
The Spreadit adds that Joanna Leigh apologized for her actions in the Boston Marathon fraud case. She promised to swiftly pay back the money she took under false pretenses. The judge, therefore, decided not to put her in jail. According to the report: “Judge Peter Krupp sentenced her to one year in the House of Correction, suspended for three years, conditional on her successful completion of probation and other conditions. Leigh is ordered to pay full restitution — complete 300 hours of community service, submit to mental health evaluation and treatment as deemed necessary, and will be on probation for an additional three years.”