The FBI has arrested a Bronx woman for allegedly exploiting the Newtown school shootings by posing as a family member of one of the victims on Facebook, soliciting donations for the funeral, and then lying to federal agents about it.
Nouel Alba was arrested and arraigned in a Hartford court on Thursday, on charges that she lied to federal agents about an alleged fraud scheme connected to the shootings.
From NBC Connecticut:
Last week, NBC’s Jeff Rossen reported that Alba posted a solicitation on Facebook within hours of the shooting, identifying herself as an aunt of Noah Pozner, a 6-year-old victim.
Later, as families were grieving and the nation was looking for any and every way to help the victims’ families, she asked for funds to pay for the funeral, Rossen reported.
At Alba's instruction on the Facebook page "Victorian Glam Fairys," donors sent money to a PayPal account that Alba controlled and accessed, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
According to NBC, Alexis Haller, Noah Pozner's uncle, said Alba is of no relation, and never gave the family any money.
“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 David Fein. “Investigators continue to monitor the Internet to uncover other fundraising scams arising from this tragedy, and the individuals operating them face federal or state prosecution to the fullest extent permitted by law.”