Woman Who Posed As Victim’s Aunt, Ran Newtown Fundraising Scam Gets 8-Month Sentence
HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – The woman who admitted to posing as the aunt of a Newtown massacre victim for profit was sentenced Tuesday to eight months in prison.
As WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reported, Nouel Alba of the Bronx set up a purported funeral fund to raise money for one of the children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December.
She claimed 6-year-old Noah Pozner – one of 20 first graders killed in the mass shooting – was her nephew.
Prosecutors said Alba wasted no time and launched the scam within 24 hours of the massacre. Prosecutors said she used social media, email and phone calls to try to solicit money.
A defense attorney not involved in the case said Alba’s timing drew suspicions.
“Most people that morning were in a state of shock. Certainly the residents of Connecticut were,” Gene Riccio told Schneidau. “Cases like this really present a difficult challenge for the criminal justice system because the knee jerk reaction is to just throw the book at someone like this.”
It was the timing of the fundraising effort that drew the ire of some of the authorities. Alba pleaded guilty in June to wire fraud and making false statements.
Since being charged, Alba has lost her job, she’s losing her home and she’s struggling to raise two teenage boys.
Alba had sought probation, while prosecutors argued she deserved at least one year in prison.
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