While reaction to the December 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School has led to officials warn it has also led to some attempted cases of fraud.
A Bronx woman was indicted for lying to federal agents Tuesday in a case that originated when she allegedly operated a phone and internet scam claiming to be the relative of a Sandy Hook victim, according to reports from Connecticut District Attorney David Fein.
According to the indictment, when FBI special agents came to investigate Nouel Alba, 37, she denied any involvement with the Facebook-based scam. Alba allegedly told potential marks she was a victim's aunt, and solicited "donations" to a Paypal account in the name of a "funeral fund."
"Investigators continue to monitor the Internet to uncover other fundraising scams arising from this tragedy," said Fein. "[A]ny individuals who attempt to profit through these schemes will be prosecuted."
Alba is charged with one count of making false statements to federal agents -- a crime which could warrant up to five years in jail and fines of up to $250,000 -- on top of her existing criminal charges, dating back to December 27, 2012.
“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,” said FBI agent Kimberly Mertz, in charge of the case.
The FBI asks anyone with knowledge of Newtown-related fundraising fraud to contact their Connecticut office at 203-777-6311.