Boston Marathon bomber ordered to return $1,400 coronavirus relief payment to victims for restitution

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Convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been ordered by prosecutors to return a $1,400 COVID relief payment he received last summer along with other money he has received, according to a court filing Wednesday. 

The money should instead be used as restitution to his victims, the filing said.

Tsarnaev has $3,885.06 in his inmate trust account, with the money received from the government, the Office of Federal Defenders of New York and from private citizens.

He spent several thousand on his siblings for “gifts” “support” and “books” but has barely paid any of the more than $101 million owed to the victims or the $3,000 special assessment as part of his sentencing, the court filing said. 

The inmate, who was sentenced to death two years after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, which left three people dead and hundreds hurt, has paid only $2,202.03 in restitution so far. 

The death sentence was overturned in 2020 after a court ruled that a trial judge erred by excluding some evidence. An appeal to reinstate his death sentence is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death in 2015 for the deadly 2013 attack near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. 
(FBI via Getty Images)

He is allowed to use money for clothes and books and other items that can help him in prison but the rest should go toward victim payments, prosecutors said. 

From left, Joselyn Perez, of Methuen, who was at the Boston Marathon in 2013 and survived the bombing, embraces her mother, Sara Valverde Perez, who was hospitalized as a result of the bombing that day, in Boston on April 15, 2021. Joselyns brother Yoelin Perez, who was not at the Marathon during the explosion, embraces them both. 
(Getty Images)

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

Iraq war veteran Raymond Garcia from Boston pauses from his run at the Boston Marathon Bombing Memorial on One Boston Day, the seven-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings, April 15, 2020, in Boston at the Boylston St. finish line. 
(Getty Images)

“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 said.

It wasn’t explained how Tsarnaev received a COVID relief payment. 

Authorities say Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, planted bombs near the marathon’s finish line, resulting in deaths and injuries when the bombs exploded. The brother later died in a shootout with police during a manhunt.

Seventeen of the injured people lost at least one limb in the attack.

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