Joanna Leigh from Boston has admitted to scamming almost $40,000 following the wake of the Boston Marathon Bombing tragedy. Leigh pleaded guilty to all charges after previously denying she had committed fraud. Leigh took money from a variety of sources including the One Fund Boston, created to support victims of the bombing, a student-run fundraising initiative, the Massachusetts Victims of Violent Crime Compensation program, and a GoFundMe campaign in which she raised approximately $9350. The GoFundMe page, Joanna Leigh Boston Hero, has since been removed. According to a report in CNN, Leigh “undertook an aggressive and public campaign to seek an additional seven-figure distribution from the One Fund.”
For her dastardly deeds, Leigh will spend one year in prison, pay full restitution, perform 300 hours of community service, 3 years of probation. The sentence also includes a requirement to undergo a mental health evaluation, probably a good idea.
Leigh was at the Marathon but was not nearby when the bombs exploded. Her defense claimed she suffered from Post Traumatic Shock Disorder (PTSD).
The video embedded below published in May 2015, from MyFoxBoston, includes a discussion with Leigh where she defended her actions. According to the report, Leigh was thrown by the bomb and a doctor diagnosed her with a traumatic brain injury.
A statement released by the One Fund said;
“It is unfortunate that when the leaders and citizens of our extraordinary city came together to establish the One Fund in the wake of the marathon bombings, there are individuals who saw the fund as an opportunity for fraudulent claims at the expense of the victims.”
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