Photo: Nouel Alba Charged with Fraud for Newtown
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Kimberly K. Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that NOUEL ALBA, 37, of the Bronx, New York, was arrested today on a federal criminal complaint charging her with lying to FBI agents in connection with their investigation into a fraudulent fundraising scheme related to the Newtown school shooting tragedy.
The complaint alleges that ALBA used her Facebook account, telephone calls, and text messages to falsely claim to be a relative of a shooting victim and solicited money from donor-victims who wanted to donate, claiming the money was for the child’s “funeral fund.” At ALBA’s instruction, donor-victims sent money to a PayPal account controlled and accessed by ALBA. 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.
ALBA also falsely claimed to have immediately refunded any donations that she received.
“It is unconscionable to think that the families of the victims in Newtown and a sympathetic community looking to provide them some sort of financial support and comfort have become the targets of criminals,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Mertz. “Today’s arrest is a stern message that the FBI will investigate and bring to justice those who perpetrate Internet fundraising scams, especially those scams that exploit the most vulnerable in their time of shared sorrow.”
Following her arrest, ALBA appeared before United States Magistrate Thomas P. Smith in Hartford and was released on a $50,000 bond.