Northern Suburbs News
Woman charged in Newtown fraud pleads not guilty
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- A New York City woman has pleaded not guilty to a federal charge that she made false statements to the government about an alleged scam linked to the Sandy Hook school massacre.
Nouel Alba made a brief appearance in federal court in Bridgeport on Thursday.
She declined to comment to reporters afterward.
She is accused of collecting money from donors by falsely claiming to be the aunt of Noah Pozner, one of the children killed at the school in Newtown, Conn., in December.
In an indictment unsealed this week, prosecutors detail Facebook posts and text messages, including one to a donor in which Alba claimed to have met and cried with President Barack Obama at a prayer service for the victims. She also allegedly claimed to have identified the boy's remains.
"I don't think I could ever fully recover from what I saw and his lifeless body just laying there," Alba posted on Facebook, according to the indictment. "I couldn't help but to hold my nephew in my arms and then give my brother and sister in law the bad news..."
Prosecutors allege Alba began making false claims on the page about 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 14, just hours after Adam Lanza shot and killed 26 people, including 20 children, inside the school.
The indictment alleges she collected money through a PayPal account between Dec. 15 and Dec. 18, and later lied to FBI agents, telling them the account was inactive.
The indictment does not detail how much money Alba allegedly collected. Jury selection is set for March 13.
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