Two Long Island nurses are accused of collecting more than $1.5 million by selling fake Covid-19 vaccination cards, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.
Prosecutors said the nurses, Julie DeVuono, who owns the Wild Child pediatric healthcare facility in Amityville, and Marissa Urraro, her employee, sold fake immunization cards and entered false information into the facility. New York vaccination database, prosecutors said. According to the district attorney’s office, they charge $220 for adult counterfeit cards and $85 for children.
Ms DeVuono, 49, and Ms Urraro, 44, were arranged on Friday, each charged with one count of second-degree forgery. Ms. DeVuono is also accused of once providing a fake tool for filing an application.
Michael Alber, Urraro’s attorney, said she pleaded not guilty and was released on bail without bail.
“We look forward to highlighting legal obstacles and shortcomings in this investigation,” Mr. Alber said. “An accusation should not overshadow the good work Ms. Urraro has done for children and adults in the medical field.”
DeVuono’s attorney could not be reached for comment.
During the investigation on Friday, prosecutors charged the women with forging a vaccination card for an undercover detective, even though the vaccine had not yet been administered.
Prosecutors said law enforcement officers searched Ms. DeVuono’s home and seized about $900,000 in cash and a ledger showing they made $1.5 million in the scheme from November to January.
“I hope this sends a message to people who are considering gaming the system that they will be caught and that we will do the utmost in law enforcement,” said Suffolk district attorney Raymond A. Tierney, said in a statement.
Rodney K. Harrison, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Commissioner, said in a statement“As nurses, these two individuals should understand the importance of legal immunization cards as we all work together to protect public health.”
Nurses in South Carolina and Michigan have also faced accusations of forging vaccine cards in recent months.
In December, a nurse in Columbia, SC, was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of forging a Covid-19 vaccination card. based on United States attorney’s office for the District of South Carolina. In September, a nurse at a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Michigan was charged with stealing authentic immunization cards from the hospital and reselling them, based on United States attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Yvonne Gamble, a spokeswoman for the Office of Inspector General in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said schemes involving fake immunization cards, like those on Long Island, have derailed containment efforts. coronavirus pandemic.
“The proliferation of fake Covid-19 vaccination cards could jeopardize efforts to address the ongoing public health emergency,” said Ms. “We therefore encourage the public to obtain valid proof of Covid-19 vaccination from their administering healthcare providers rather than creating fake immunization cards or purchasing them from unauthorized sources. permission.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/29/world/americas/long-island-nurses-fake-vaccine-cards.html Long Island nurse allegedly made $1.5 million in fake vaccine card program