HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A woman who posed as the aunt of a child killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre will be sentenced next week.
Nouel Alba of the Bronx is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Hartford. She pleaded guilty in June to wire fraud and making false statements.
Alba is seeking probation, arguing she has already been punished by the media. Prosecutors are asking that Alba serve at least a year in prison.
Starting on the day of the shootings, authorities say, Alba used Facebook, email, text messages and telephone calls to falsely claim to be the aunt of a child who had been killed. They say she made up details about the aftermath of the shooting to solicit donations for a “funeral fund” on behalf of the Noah Pozner‘s family and the families of other victims of the shooting.
As part of the scheme, authorities say Alba also emailed school PTA officers and then touted her fictional personal relationship with the PTA to support her false claim and induce donors to send her money.
Such scams corrode the trust and generosity of everyone, acting U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly said in June.
“While we believe that this case has had a deterrent effect on other potential bad actors, individuals who ignore this warning and operate these schemes face federal or state prosecution to the fullest extent permitted by law,” Daly said.
Prosecutors said Alba also lied to FBI agents about her activities. The total amount donated was less than $5,000 and was returned after donors discovered her misrepresentations, authorities said.
Alba claimed to have met and cried with President Barack Obama at a prayer service for the victims and to have identified her nephew’s body, authorities said.
Several legitimate charities were set in the aftermath of the Newtown shooting that left 20 first graders and six educators dead.
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