Published January 15. 2013 4:00PM Updated January 15. 2013 4:27PM
A federal grand jury indicted a Bronx, N.Y., woman Tuesday alleging she claimed to be an aunt of a Newtown shooting victim as part of a fraudulent fundraising scheme.
Nouel Alba, 37, allegedly used Facebook, text messages and made telephone calls to solicit donations on behalf of the family for the child’s “funeral fund,” according to a federal justice department news release.
Alba, who presented herself as an aunt of a shooting victim, had donors send money to a PayPal account Alba controlled and accessed. Further, the indictment says, when contacted by the FBI, Alba denied any involvement in fundraising and charity scams related to the Newtown shooting.
She’s charged with one count of making false statements to federal agents and faces a maximum prison term of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.
Alba was arrested Dec. 27 and was subsequently freed on a $50,000 bond.
“Investigators continue to monitor the Internet to uncover other fundraising scams arising from this tragedy, and any individuals who attempt to profit through these schemes will be prosecuted,” said U.S. Attorney David Fein.
U.S. Attorney Fein noted that potential federal charges associated with fraudulent fundraising and charity schemes include wire fraud (18 USC 1343, 20-year maximum prison term), access device fraud (18 USC 1029, 10-year maximum prison term) and interstate transportation of stolen property (18 USC 2314, 10-year maximum prison term).
Individuals with knowledge of Newtown-related fundraising schemes are encouraged to contact the FBI in Connecticut at 203-777-6311.