HARTFORD – A New York City woman was sentenced in US District Court on Tuesday, October 15, to serve eight months in prison, with two years of probation to follow, on convictions for wire fraud and for making false statements in connection with a scam fundraising scheme that she created on the Internet stemming from the Sandy Hook School shooting incident last December.
Nouel Alba, 37, of The Bronx pleaded guilty in June to the federal charges.
Alba, who is free on bail, reportedly will start serving her sentence in about six weeks. No fine was imposed on Alba.
Alba had used the Internet to falsely portray herself as the aunt of Noah Pozner, 6, who was one of the 20 first-graders who was killed in the December 14 shooting incident at the school.
The indictment against Alba states that she used her Facebook account, telephone calls, and text messages to falsely claim to be an aunt of Noah Pozner and to supply fictitious details about the aftermath of the tragedy in order to solicit donations on the pretext that she was collecting on behalf of the family for the child’s “funeral fund.”
At Alba’s instruction, the donor-victims sent money to a PayPal account controlled and accessed by Alba, according to the court papers. That money was later returned to the donors.
The indictment alleges that, when contacted by FBI Special Agents investigating fundraising and charity scams related to 12/14, Alba falsely stated that she did not post information related to Newtown on her Facebook account, have contact with anyone about such postings, or recently access her PayPal account.
Alba was arrested on a criminal complaint last December 27, and she has been free on bail since her arrest.