Busted in an unconscionable con, Nouel Alba, 37, of the Bronx was arrested by the feds on Dec. 27 and charged with lying to FBI agents in connection with their investigation into a fraudulent fundraising scheme related to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.
According to the FBI, the criminal complaint against Alba alleges that she used her Facebook account, telephone calls, and text messages to falsely claim to be the aunt of shooting victim Noah Pozner, and solicited money from donor-victims who wanted to donate, claiming the money was for the child’s “funeral fund.”
At Alba’s instruction, donor-victims sent money to a PayPal account controlled and accessed by Alba.
When contacted by FBI special agents investigating fundraising and charity scams related to the Newtown tragedy, Alba falsely stated that she did not post information related to Newtown on her Facebook account, solicit donations, or recently access her PayPal account.
Alba also falsely claimed to have immediately refunded any donations that she received.
“This arrest should serve as a warning to anyone who attempts to profit from this tragedy by contriving fraudulent schemes that exploit the many victims, their families and individuals who sincerely want to help,” stated U.S. Attorney Fein.
“It is unconscionable to think that the families of the victims in Newtown and a sympathetic community looking to provide them some sort of financial support and comfort have become the targets of criminals,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Mertz.
“Today’s arrest is a stern message that the FBI will investigate and bring to justice those who perpetrate Internet fundraising scams, especially those scams that exploit the most vulnerable in their time of shared sorrow.”
Following her arrest, Alba appeared before U.S. Magistrate Thomas P. Smith in Hartford and was released on a $50,000 bond.
If convicted of making false statements to federal agents, Alba faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.
For more on the story, see the video accompanying this article.
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