A Boston man was arrested Wednesday on allegations that he submitted a false claim for more than $2 million using his dead aunt’s name from a fund set up for Boston Marathon bombing victims, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said.
Branden Mattier, 22, of Boston's South End was taken into custody at his home after an undercover state trooper handed over a simulated check from The One Fund Boston made out for $2.195 million, according to Coakley.
Upon accepting the check, Mattier was charged with attempted larceny and identity theft.
“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,” Coakley said in news release.
The One Fund Boston was set up in the wake of the Boston attack that killed three and injured more than 200 others. Just last week, the fund announced it would disperse nearly $61 million it had raised from donors around the world to assist victims and families.
Only six families — those whose loved ones' had died or had double amputations or brain damage — were eligible for the maximum compensation of closes to $2.2 million.
A neighbor told NBC station WHDH in Boston that Mattier is an aspiring musician.
“Never seen him in no trouble, heard he's in trouble. He’s always into something, positive always doing positive,” said neighbor Rich Martin.
The fund alerted the attorney general’s office after a suspicious claim submitted by Mattier on behalf of his aunt, Onevia Bradley, Cloakley said.
According to the attorney general, Mattier send a claim form into the fund, accompanied by a letter allegedly from the chief of trauma services at Boston Medical Center, saying his aunt was a double-amputee wounded in the bombing.
According to hospital officials the letter was not from the center, and the aunt hadn’t received treatment there after the bombings.
Investigators later discovered the aunt had died some 10 years earlier, Coakley said.
Mattier was expected in court to face charges on Wednesday morning. It was unclear if he had an attorney.