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Feds Want Boston Marathon Bomber to Return Coronavirus Stimulus Check

By Aman Jain. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Boston Marathon bomber return coronavirus stimulus check

President Joe Biden approved the third stimulus check of up to $1,400 in March last year. Almost all eligible recipients got this stimulus check, including the Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  However, the feds now want the Boston Marathon bomber to return the coronavirus stimulus check, as well as other money held in his inmate trust account, to pay toward his restitution.


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Will Boston Marathon Bomber Return Coronavirus Stimulus Check?

In a filing on Wednesday, the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston requested the court to order the federal Bureau of Prisons to hand over all the money in Tsarnaev’s inmate trust account to the Clerk of the Court “as payment towards his outstanding criminal monetary penalties, including unpaid special assessment and restitution.”

Tsarnaev was convicted in 2015 of 30 charges related to the 2013 bombing at the Boston Marathon finish line. Three spectators got killed in the bombing, while over 260 got injured. Tsarnaev is currently serving a life sentence in a federal prison in Florence, Colo.

Originally, Tsarnaev was sentenced to death, but in 2020, the federal appeals court turned it into a life sentence. The Biden administration requested the Supreme Court to reinstate the death sentence, and the high court even heard arguments in October. However, any ruling on the matter is still awaited.

In 2016, Tsarnaev was ordered to pay $3,000 towards special assessment and over $101 million for criminal restitution. So far, Tsarnaev has paid just about $2,200 towards the assessment.

Tsarnaev, however, has used his inmate account to pay his siblings for “gifts,” “support,” and “books,” according to the court filing.

“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.

Stimulus Checks To Inmates: A Sticky Subject

Apart from the third stimulus check, Tsarnaev has received money from several other sources during his incarceration. These sources include the federal public defender’s office and payments from individuals in New Jersey, Maryland and Indiana. As per the court filing, Tsarnaev has received more than $21,000 in his account since 2013, and his account balance was $3,885 as of December 22.

Also, the filing notes that Tsarnaev failed to inform the court about the funds he received. Under federal law, Tsarnaev is required to “notify the Court and the United States of any material change in his ‘economic circumstances’ that might affect his ability to pay his restitution obligation.”

Whether or not inmates can claim the stimulus check has been a sticky subject in Congress ever since the approval of the first stimulus check in March 2020. Senate Democrats, however, cleared the way for convicted murderers to get the stimulus money with the American Rescue Plan of 2021.

At the time, many lawmakers, including Sen. Tom Cotton, as well as Sens. Bill Cassidy and Ted Cruz, suggested an amendment to block checks to prisoners, but it failed on a party-line vote.

Updated on

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