Prosecutors want to seize Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s $1,400 COVID relief check to use as restitution for victims’ who he was ordered to pay $101m to
- Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 28, was sentenced to death in 2015 for the Boston marathon bombings of April 2013, which killed three people and injured more than 260
- Tsarnaev, currently being held at the Colorado ‘supermax’ prison, was among 1.5 million inmates to receive COVID stimulus checks
- On Wednesday the acting U.S. attorney for Massachusetts asked Judge George O’Toole to order that Tsarnaev hand over the money in his account
- Tsarnaev currently has $3,885.06 in his account, and has only paid $2,202.03 towards the $101 million he was ordered to pay as compensation to victims
- O’Toole on Wednesday approved the request and demanded that Tsarnaev forfeit the cash in his account
- Tsarnaev received money from multiple donors plus a federal $1,400 COVID relief check – one of 1.5 million inmates to receive the cash
The surviving Boston marathon bomber has been ordered by a judge to hand over a $1,400 COVID relief stimulus check he received in prison and give the cash to his victims.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 28, has been in the Colorado ‘supermax’ prison since he was sentenced to death in 2015. He is pictured in his 2013 mugshot
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, now 28, was sentenced to death in 2015 for the April 2013 bombings, which killed three and injured more than 260.
He remains at the Colorado ‘supermax’ prison, but in June 2021 received a $1,400 payment from the federal government as part of coronavirus relief available to all Americans.
On Wednesday, Judge George O’Toole in Boston ordered that Tsarnaev hand the funds over.
O’Toole was asked earlier on Wednesday by the prosecutor, Nathaniel Mendell, the acting U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, to approve the seizure of funds in Tsarnaev’s account, and O’Toole swiftly agreed.
Tsarnaev was ordered, as part of his sentence, to pay $101 million to the victims.
He has paid $2,202.03 so far, Mendell said.
Tsarnaev, a Kyrgyz-American national of Chechen descent, currently has $3,885.06 in his prison inmate account.
The Boston marathon bombing is seen on April 15, 2013. A pipe bomb exploded at the finish line, killing three people
An injured woman is carried from the scene of the Boston marathon bombings in 2013
In the six years since his sentencing, he has received more than $21,000 from multiple individuals – money which, Mendell argued, should go towards the victims’ fund.
He has spent about $13,000 on himself in the years he has been in federal custody, while sending $2,000 to his siblings and others.
‘By Congressional mandate, the United States has a statutory duty to collect restitution owed to crime victims,’ Mendell wrote.
Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, became devout Muslims and were radicalized in part by videos on the internet.
In April 2013 they planted bombs at the marathon, on the finishing line.
Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police while on the run, and Dzhokhar was injured. He later admitted that they intended to plant more bombs in Times Square.
Tsarnaev was among 1.5 million prison inmates to receive stimulus checks from the government during the pandemic
Tsarnaev’s death sentence was overturned in July 2020, but the Supreme Court is expected to rule on reinstating it this summer.
The issue of funds in Bureau of Prison accounts has become a hot topic, following a Washington Post expose.
More than 20 inmates keep six-figure balances in their accounts, while others, including sex abuser and former doctor Larry Nassar, were allowed by the prison agency to spend thousands on themselves while paying victims very little of what they are owed, the paper reported last year.
Nassar was among the 1.5 million prisoners who, like Tsarnaev, received COVID relief checks while behind bars.