Boston Marathon bomber ordered to give COVID relief funds to victims

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(Video Credit: CBS Boston)

Convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was the recipient of a COVID relief payment of $1,400 in June and now a judge has ordered him to return it to the federal government, along with other monies in his inmate trust account.

In a filing on Wednesday, Nathaniel R. Mendell, who is the acting United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, requested an order authorizing the Bureau of Prisons to turn over to the Clerk of the Court all funds, including any funds subject to administrative hold by BOP, held in the inmate trust account for Tsarnaev.

Tsarnaev, 28, has so far paid his victims $2,202.03 of the $101,126,627 he has been ordered to pay in restitution for his crimes, according to court records. He has $3,885.06 in his inmate trust account. Those funds are now forfeit as ordered by the court.

He received $11,230 from the Office of Federal Defenders in New York; $2,500 from an individual in Indianapolis; roughly $1,450 from a person in Bloomfield, NJ; and $950 from someone in Frederick, Maryland, the filing indicated. Another $3,486.60 came from 32 people who were unidentified, according to the filing.

The infamous bomber has spent several thousand for “gifts” for his siblings, “support,” and “books” but has paid very little of what he owes his victims or the $3,000 special assessment as part of his sentencing, court documents reveal.

Tsarnaev was sentenced to death two years after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, where bombs were set off killing three people and maiming or wounding over 260 others. Seventeen of the victims lost at least one limb in the monstrous terrorist attack.

Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, planted two pressure-cooker bombs near the marathon’s finish line. His brother was killed in a shootout with police during the subsequent manhunt. Police captured a bloodied and wounded Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the Boston suburb of Watertown, where he was hiding in a boat parked in a backyard, hours after his brother was taken down.

Tsarnaev’s lawyers have never contested that he and his brother set off the two bombs near the marathon finish line on April 15, 2013. Those killed included Lingzi Lu, a 23-year-old Boston University graduate student from China; Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old restaurant manager from Medford; and 8-year-old Martin Richard, who had gone to watch the marathon with his family.

His richly-deserved death sentence was overturned in 2020 when a court ruled that the trial judge erred by excluding evidence. An appeal is in the works at the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate his death sentence, according to Fox News.

(Video Credit: CNBC Television)

He was allowed to use money from his inmate account to buy clothes and books, as well as other items that he needed in prison. The rest of any monies that found their way into his account were earmarked to go to his victims, prosecutors asserted.

“By Congressional mandate, the United States has a statutory duty to collect restitution owed to crime victims,” prosecutors commented in the court document, citing a lien placed on Tsarnaev’s property, including his trust account, after his conviction and imprisonment.

“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,” the filing contended.

It is unknown why Tsarnaev received a COVID relief payment.

It may be symbolic justice but many contend Tsarnaev should never have received the funds in the first place:

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