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Prosecutors can use Boston Marathon bomber's Covid stimulus payment to repay his victims, judge rules

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Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
  • A judge has granted a request to seize a Covid stimulus cheque from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, The Wall Street Journal reported.
  • Tsarnaev reportedly received a stimulus payment of $1,400 alongside other incomes.
  • He has not paid back any of the $101.1 million he was ordered to pay in criminal restitution, The Journal reported.
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Federal prosecutors are allowed to use the Boston Marathon bomber's Covid-19 stimulus payment and other incomes to help pay his victims, a federal judge ruled on Thursday, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The order comes after acting US Attorney for Massachusetts Nathaniel Mendell filed a motion on Wednesday to seize all the funds from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's inmate trust account.

Tsarnaev, who is currently serving a life sentence in a maximum-security prison in Colorado, was ordered to pay $101.1 million in restitution to victims, as well as a special assessment of $3,000 in 2016.

But the 28-year-old has only paid $2,202 so far, all of which has gone towards the special assessment, the motion said, according to The Journal.

In June, Tsarnaev received a total of $1,400 as part of the coronavirus relief payment granted to all Americans. In addition, he received $11,230 from the nonprofit Office of Federal Defenders of New York and more than $8,400 from individual donors between May 2016 and June 2021, The Guardian reported.

A Department of Justice spokeswoman told The Journal that the bombing victims would receive 100% of the claimed funds.

"It has been a focus… for us to pursue inmate trust balances in appropriate cases," the spokeswoman added. "We typically wait until the balance reaches a point where it is appropriate for us to pursue." 

The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Tsarnaev was convicted and sentenced to death after he and his brother, Tamerlan, planted pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013, killing three people and wounding hundreds more. Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police three days later. 

Tsarnaev's death sentence was overturned in July 2020 by a federal appeals court.


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