A Bronx woman has been hit with federal fraud charges for soliciting donations in the name of Newtown rampage victim Noah Pozner, federal prosecutors announced today.
Nouel Alba, 37, of the Bronx, N.Y., was charged with lying to FBI agents in connection with their investigation into a fraudulent fundraising scheme related to the Newtown school shooting tragedy.
On Dec. 21, NBC reported on Alba’s alleged involvement in a scam soliciting donations for Noah Pozner’s family over Facebook.
In an interview with NBC’s Rossen Reports program on the Today show, Alba denied posing as an aunt of Noah and sending messages requesting donations. She claimed someone else had used her Facebook account to send the messages and said she had refunded the donation money she received.
The federal criminal complaint alleges that Alba lied when she told the same story to FBI special agents.
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, the Connecticut U.S. Attorney’s office said in a statement.
Noah’s relatives are outraged by the scam.
“It’s trying to turn a profit on a horrible tragedy, on the death of kids, 6-year-old kids, 7-year-old kids,” his uncle Alexis Haller told NBC. “And to me, that’s just a horrible thing to be doing.”
Noah Pozner is one of 20 students killed on Dec. 14 at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Suspected gunman Adam Lanza killed 27 people in all before turning a gun on himself, authorities said.
The Pozner family is raising money on its official noahpozner.org web site.