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​Woman who lied about Boston Marathon bombing injuries pleads guilty

BOSTON -- A Boston woman who lied about suffering traumatic brain injuries in the Boston Marathon bombing has pleaded guilty to charges of fraudulently receiving thousands of dollars from charity.

Prosecutors say 41-year-old Joanna Leigh pleaded guilty Friday to five counts of larceny over $250 and making a false claim to a government agency.

She was sentenced to a year in jail, which was suspended for three years of probation. Prosecutors had recommended three years in prison.

Authorities say Leigh was at the April 2013 marathon but wasn't hurt.

Prosecutors say Leigh got $8,000 from The One Fund, the charity set up to compensate the families of those killed and the injured. She was also charged with accepting money from a state victims' compensation fund and private sources.

Leigh had been indicted in March on charges that she accepted nearly $40,000 in benefits.

CBS Boston reported police said Leigh received dermatology services that were offered at no cost to bombing victims. Most people taking advantage of the services were treated for scarring, but Leigh was treated for facial redness that she suffered from before the bombings.

Following Friday's guilty plea, defense attorney Norman Zalkind said Leigh will immediately pay back the money she received using her mother's savings, according to CBS Boston.

Zalkind added that Leigh likely would have been able to obtain the money legally because she was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after the bombings.

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