NY Woman Arrested for Posing as Newtown Victim's Aunt, Soliciting Funds

A Bronx, N.Y., woman was arrested Thursday for lying to the FBI about posing as the aunt of one of the children killed in the Newtown, Conn., rampage this month and soliciting money.

Nouel Alba, 37, denied to NBC's Jeff Rossen that she posed as Noah Pozner's aunt on Facebook. She also denied trying to get donations for his "funeral fund."

But the FBI says Alba used her Facebook account, telephone calls and text messages to solicit money.

"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."

According to the criminal complaint filed against her, Alba allegedly had a telephone conversation with a donor in which she claimed she had to go to Sandy Hook Elementary School to identify her nephew.

Twenty-six people, including 20 children, were killed on Dec. 14 when gunman Adam Lanza entered Sandy Hook and began shooting into classrooms. Lanza also killed his mother at their home earlier that morning. The 20-year-old turned the gun on himself before authorities found him at the school.

Noah Pozner, 6, was remembered a few days later at a funeral where JetBlue Airways helped rush a card made by his cousin from Seattle to Connecticut. Pozner's mother wanted him to be buried with cards and letters from his family.

On the day of the shooting, under the screen name Victorian Glam Fairys, Alba allegedly posted this on Facebook: "All this killing and shooting this entire week is just crazy. Praying for those families and all the kids who are effected (sic) by this today. My heart goes out to those little innocent kids." About 15 minutes later, she then identified herself as the aunt of one of the children who attended Sandy Hook.

The following day, she posted: "We've set up a funeral fund for my brother and families. Anyone willing to make a donation can make one either through paypal @ ____ or by Direct Deposit ___"

In an interview with CNN days later, Alba said she did not set up "any funds for anybody" and that she immediately refunded all of the donations she received.

She told the FBI that she was unaware her PayPal account was being used to solicit donations for a Sandy Hook family and that someone must have accessed her account.

The criminal complaint notes that she did not return the donated funds immediately, as she had claimed, but rather on Dec. 18.

Alba was released on a $50,000 bond. If convicted, she could face imprisonment of up to five years and a fine of up to $250,000.

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