A woman who posed as the aunt of one of the 20 children killed in the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown and used a Facebook account to solicit money for a "funeral fund" has been arrested and charged with lying to federal agents.
According to NPR, the FBI and a US Attorney in Connecticut allege that Nouel Alba, 37, of the Bronx, "used her Facebook account, telephone calls and text messages" during the alleged scam.
"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," the statement continued. "Alba also falsely claimed to have immediately refunded any donations that she received."
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Alba appeared before United States Magistrate Thomas P. Smith in Hartford, Conn. following her arrest and was released on a $50,000 bond, reported Today News. If convicted of making false statements to federal agents, she faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.
Authorities said Alba could also be charged with wire fraud, "access device fraud" and "interstate transportation of stolen property," noted NPR. She allegedly used the screen name Victorian Glam Fairys on Facebook and pretended to be the aunt of 6-year-old shooting victim Noah Pozner.
In one of the telephone conversations she had with donors to the "funeral fund," Alba "claimed to have had to go to Sandy Hook Elementary School and enter the crime scene to identify her nephew for law enforcement personnel."