Joanna Leigh, center, pleaded not guilty at her arraignment in Suffolk Superior Court on charges of larceny and making a false claim of injuries in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.
Joanna Leigh allegedly fraudulently received $40,000 in cash and services from the One Fund, a nonprofit founded to help those affected by the bombing, and other fundraising efforts. She faces charges of five counts of larceny over $250 by false pretenses and one count of making a false claim to a government agency. At her arraignment, she was released on her own recognizance.
When reached for comment, Leigh’s lawyer, Norman S. Zalkind, said Monday they are waiting for the case to go to a jury trial and that Leigh had pleaded not guilty.
Joanna Leigh told The Boston Globe on Friday that she would plead not guilty.
“They know I have permanent hearing aids,” she told The Globe. “Why else did I get them? Like I like hanging out with them? Like I love to spend every day in doctor’s offices? Like this is how I want to spend my life?”
“I saw first-hand the injuries true victims suffered on that day,” said Boston Police Commissioner William Evans in a statement on Thursday. “Ms. Leigh saw an opportunity to take advantage of kind-hearted individuals who wanted to help those victims.”
Boston Police said the 41-year-old Leigh received an $8,000 payment from the One Fund and sought a payment of over $2 million while refusing to share her medical records to authenticate her claim. Police additionally said that a Mattapan middle school raised over $1,700 for Leigh and she also received over $9,000 from an online fundraiser and over $18,000 in benefits from the state’s Victims of Violent Crime Compensation Fund.
She will return to court May 7, according to the DA’s office.