Court Rules in Favor of Seizing Boston Bomber’s Stimulus Check

Court Rules in Favor of Seizing Boston Bomber's Stimulus Check

( – During the 2013 Boston Marathon, brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev used pressure-cooker bombs to cause an explosion at the finish line, killing three people and injuring countless others. While police killed Tamerlan in a shoot-out days later, they caught Dzhokhar and he was sentenced to life in a Colorado prison. Somehow, he received a COVID-19 stimulus payment during the coronavirus pandemic, which he now must use to pay for court fees and victim restitution.

On Thursday, January 6, a federal judge ruled that prosecutors can use the Boston Marathon bomber’s $1,400 stimulus payment and other account funds to finish paying a special assessment fee and begin chipping away at the $101.1 million he owes his victims. According to records, Tsarnaev has received at least $21,000 since he entered the maximum-security prison, but had only paid $2,2202.03 of his $3,000 fee leading up to the latest filing.

CBS’ Congressional Correspondent Kris Van Cleave shared a snippet of the court filing and some surprising facts about where the rest of Tsarnaev’s funds have come from:

While this key ruling will allow victims to begin receiving some minuscule amount of money for their loss, the money will first go to the government fees before actual restitution. Additionally, this situation poses the question of why the federal government gave Tsarnaev a stimulus check in the first place, and why it took so long for the legal system to get it back.

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