A Boston man has been arrested after allegedly trying to defraud The One Fund for Boston bombing victims of $2.195 million after he claimed that his aunt, who has been dead for 10 years, was a double amputee victim of the bombings.
Branden Mattier, 22, has been charged with attempted larceny over $250 and identity theft, according to the Massachusetts attorney general. Mattier was arrested Tuesday after an undercover state trooper presented him with a simulated check made out for $2.195 million.
"We allege that this defendant attempted to defraud The One Fund of more than $2 million," Attorney General Martha Coakley said in a statement. "Because every dollar was allocated to victims, he sought to take these funds away from real victims of the Marathon attack and from the thousands of people who had so generously given to help those who truly need it."
The April 15 attacks at the Boston marathon killed three people and injured more than 260.
In May, Mattier submitted a claim on behalf of his aunt, Onevia Bradley, along with a letter allegedly from the chief of trauma services at the Boston Medical Center stating that Bradley is a double amputee, according to the Attorney General's office. On May 7, Mattier attended a Boston Public Library town hall meeting, and followed-up on May 29 with an email to The One Fund asking if his aunt could make a claim, according to the AG.
Suspicious of the claim, The One Fund Boston referred the matter to the AG's office, which began to investigate Mattier. According to the Attorney General's office, Mattier allegedly signed for a letter on Monday informing him that his aunt had been awarded $2.195 million from The One Fund Boston. The letter stated that on Tuesday, Mattier that he would receive a check.
Instead, he was arrested by Massachusetts state police. Investigators had also discovered through public records that Onevia Bradley had actually died more than 10 years earlier.
Mattier was arraigned today, but the Boston Municipal Court told ABCNews.com that it had no further information on a plea or bail.
According to its website, The One Fund Boston has raised over $62 million for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.