A grand jury in New York has indicted a 37-year-old Bronx woman accused of pretending to be a family member of a young child killed in the massacre at The Sandy Hook Elementary School last December and soliciting donations.
On Tuesday, the grand jury indicted Nouel Alba on one count each of scheme to defraud in the first degree and identity theft in the second degree, according to the Office of the Bronx District Attorney.
Alba was arrested at her residence on Tuesday morning after a five-month long investigation that began based on information that she was the subject of reports on CNN, according to the Office of the Bronx District Attorney.
Officials said Alba posted information on Facebook right after the school shootings in which she falsely claimed to be an aunt of the deceased 6-year-old victim Noah Pozner, solicited donations to help pay for his funeral expenses and included instructions that the donations be sent to a specific Paypal account.
Days after the shooting, one of Pozner’s family members met with NBC’s Jeff Rosen and said Alba was not related to them.
When investigators learned that Alba was not related to the Pozners, the investigation began.
Investigators from the Office of the Bronx District Attorney and the United States Secret Service executed a search warrant at her residence recovered her computer.
Between December 14 and 20, 2012, four donations totaling $240 were sent to Alba’s Paypal account, according to officials.
Alba denied to Rossen sending any message through Facebook, claimed that someone else posted it and said she refunded the money.
A federal indictment also charges Alba with making false statements to the federal government about the alleged scam.
Alba was arraigned on Tuesday and bail was set at $10,000 bond or $1,000 cash.
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