Tuesday, June 24, 2014
BOSTON (AP) — Two brothers convicted of filing a false $2 million claim to the Boston Marathon victims' compensation fund using the name of a long-dead aunt were sentenced Monday to three years in prison.
Branden Mattier, 23, and Domunique Grice, 28, were convicted this month of conspiracy to commit larceny and attempt to commit larceny. Mattier also was convicted of identity fraud.
Prosecutors said the brothers, both from Boston's South End, submitted a claim to The One Fund claiming their aunt lost her legs in the April 15, 2013, bombing that killed three people and injured more than 260. The fund alerted authorities that the claim was suspicious.
Massachusetts State Police arrested Mattier when he accepted a fake check. Prosecutors said the brothers planned to test drive a new Mercedes-Benz the day they received the check.
As their lawyers appealed for leniency, the brothers spoke in court about how their time in prison had changed them for the better.
"I stand before you a person who has learned more in the past half a year than in my whole entire life," Mattier said. "I have the ability to change ... I really deserve another shot to make things right."
Grice said: "I was raised to stand up to anything that might result from my actions. I'm sorry for my involvement in this situation ... I'm ready to deal with whatever comes out of this."
Suffolk Superior County Judge Jeffrey Locke was unmoved. He said the two men appeared "highly intellectual" and "polished" yet neither seemed to express remorse about the potential impact to the bombing victims or One Fund donors.
"Their conduct seems almost sociopathic," Locke said.
The judge also sentenced the brothers to three years of probation, during which they will have to volunteer to help victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing every other Saturday for six hours as a reminder of the people they had tried to defraud. If they don't meet the terms of their probation, the judge reserved the right to sentence them to up to another two and a half years in prison.
Defense attorneys, who had asked that their clients be sentenced to five years' probation only, said they plan to appeal. Grice's attorney Michael Roitman said judge's sentence was harsh, considering that his client did not have a criminal record.
Prosecutors had sought a four-to five-year prison sentence, arguing that the brothers had carefully and deliberately planned their scheme over many months and were prepared to spend the money if the scam worked.