The 26-year-old New York woman charged with fraudulently receiving $480,000 from a fund for Boston Marathon bombing victims has a lengthy arrest record of forgery and larceny charges, prosecutors said Friday as she was ordered held on $200,000 bail in a Boston court.
Prosecutors gave new details about Audrea Gause, who is accused of defrauding The One Fund Boston after she filed a claim using falsified medical records saying she had suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Gause had claimed that on April 18, three days after the bombings, she was recuperating at a hospital in Albany, N.Y. But prosecutors said she had called 911 from her Troy, N.Y., home that day to report an accident involving her young daughter.
Gause also fled police as they attempted to arrest her July 19 and led them on a short car chase before she was apprehended, Assistant Attorney General Gina Masotta said during Gause’s arraignment Friday morning in Boston Municipal Court.
She pleaded not guilty to a charge of larceny over $250. She did not speak during her arraignment.
Prosecutors said Gause falsified medical documents that said she was admitted to Boston Medical Center and to Albany Medical Center.
She was not treated at either hospital after the bombings, according to a criminal complaint filed in court.
“She has absolutely zero ties to the Commonwealth, to Boston, and anywhere else in Massachusetts,” Masotta said during Friday’s arraignment.
Gause’s attorney, John Hayes, described his client during the proceeding as a married mother of two young children who has a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Albany in biology and medical sciences.
The money awarded to Gause is in the process of being returned to the One Fund, said Brad Puffer, a spokesman for Attorney General Martha Coakley.
After Gause was arrested, Coakley said her office would review all One Fund claims, a process that Puffer said is ongoing.
After receiving her payment from the fund, Gause and a man were seen on surveillance video withdrawing $377,500 from a bank in New York on July 12 and then dropping the money off at a home construction company as payment for a new house, according to Masotta and court records. Two days later, Gause posted a photo on her Facebook account of herself in front of the property she was planning to purchase, according to the complaint.
“Proud home owner and my house not even built yet,” she said on the post, according to court records.
Gause is currently on probation in New York after a string of court appearances, including a September 2008 conviction for possession of stolen property and possession of a forged instrument, said Masotta.
Gause is known to law enforcement officials in New York for cashing bad checks and for forgery, Richard J. McNally Jr., Rensselaer County district attorney, said in a phone interview.
“She is not Lex Luthor,” McNally said, referring to a master criminal who tries to foil Superman. “She is just somebody who has a recent history of being involved in fraudulent activities.”
Also on Friday, Branden Mattier, the 22-year-old South End man accused of attempting to defraud the One Fund of more than $2 million, had a probable cause hearing in court, but it was postponed until Sept. 4. Supporters of Mattier who attended the proceeding declined to comment.
Mattier allegedly said his aunt had lost both her legs in the bombings, but prosecutors said the woman had been dead for more than a decade.
The One Fund has so far distributed nearly $61 million in payments for all approved, eligible claims, said Amy Weiss, a spokeswoman for the fund’s administrator, Kenneth R. Feinberg.