A Bronx resident who prosecutors say set up a Paypal for donations in the wake of the Newtown massacre has been charged with identity theft and scheming to defraud by the state. In January, Nouel Alba had already been indicted for lying to FBI agents, but on Tuesday she was slapped doubly by the Bronx District Attorney’s office.
According to the federal complaint, the same day that 26 teachers and children were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary, Alba posted to Facebook that she was the aunt of one of the victims. The following day, December 15, Alba allegedly posted on her Facebook that she had set up a funeral fund.
“A part of me regrets having to be the one to identify my nephews [sic] body. I don’t think I could ever fully recover from what I saw and his lifeless body just laying there,” prosecutors say Alba wrote.
Alba collected $240 from four donors, according to the indictment, but refunded or reversed the transactions less than a week later. Four days after the original Facebook post, CNN ran a story about charity scams featuring Alba, who now faces up to four years in prison.
Noah Pozner, the victim Alba allegedly claimed was her nephew, was the youngest victim killed in the Newtown tragedy, and was shot 11 times. At six years old, he left behind two siblings, a twin and an older sister. In a beautifully written piece about the family in the Jewish Daily Forward, Pozner’s family members told the reporter that Pozner wanted to manage a taco factory when he grew up–and be an astronaut and a doctor.