Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev received $1,400 COVID relief payment

BOSTON — The man who was convicted in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing received a $1,400 COVID-19 relief payment, and federal prosecutors want the money returned.

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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death after being convicted in 2015 for the bombings, which killed three people. He was sentenced to death in 2015, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit threw out the sentence in 2020, USA Today reported. The court ruled that the trial judge did not ensure a fair jury after constant media coverage of the bombing.

In a filing Wednesday, Nathaniel R. Mendell, acting U.S. Attorney for the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, asked for an order authorizing the Federal Bureau of Prisons to turn over to the Clerk of the Court all funds held in the inmate trust account for Tsarnaev, WFXT-TV reported.

Mendell said the government wanted the money “as payment toward (Tsarnaev’s) outstanding criminal monetary penalties, including unpaid special assessment and restitution.”

Tsarnaev is in federal custody at the U.S. Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility in Florence, Colorado.

According to the filing, Tsarnaev had “approximately $3,885.06″ in his inmate trust account on Dec. 21, 2021, WFXT reported.

Court documents state that deposits into Tsarnaev’s account became “more frequent” after he was sentenced.

According to WFXT, prosecutors said deposits to Tsarnaev’s account include:

  • A $1,400 COVID relief payment on June 22, 2021.
  • Multiple deposits between May 2016 and June 2021 from the Office of Federal Defenders of New York. The amounts varied between $40 and $250 and totaled approximately $11,230.
  • Monthly deposits ranging between $30 and $60 from an Indianapolis resident between August 2015 and August 2021. The deposits totaled approximately $2,555.
  • Monthly $50 deposits from a Bloomfield, New Jersey, resident between August 2015 and December 2017, totaling approximately $1,450.
  • Periodic deposits between $50 and $200 from a Frederick, Maryland, resident from December 2013 and December 2018, totaling approximately $950.

Tsarnaev also received $3,486.60 from 32 other individuals, according to court documents.

Prosecutors claimed in the filing that Tsarnaev, “although not making payments to his victims, has made payments to other third-parties. The largest payment the defendant made from his account was paid to his siblings for items such as ‘gifts,’ ‘support,’ and ‘books.’ These payments totaled $2,000.”

Prosecutors asked the court to authorize the Federal Bureau of Prisons to turn over all funds, including any subject to an administrative hold. They want the money sent to the clerk of the court as “payment toward the outstanding criminal monetary penalties imposed against the defendant.”

“The United States submits that the requested relief is reasonable and appropriate in this instance, especially in light of the defendant prioritizing payments to his siblings over the victims of his crimes,” prosecutors wrote.

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