Man charged on January 6 Riot for selling fake vaccination cards, US says

Prosecutors said on Thursday a Marine reservist who was charged with entering the Capitol during the January 6, 2021 riots, is now accused of conspiring with a nurse to beat him up. steal, forge and distribute hundreds of fraudulent coronavirus vaccination cards.

The booker, Jia Liu, 26, of Queens, NY, and nurse Steven Rodriguez, 27, of Long Beach, NY, conspired to distribute fraudulent immunization cards to unvaccinated people, including Marine reservationists are trying to evade Prosecutors say the Pentagon’s vaccine request is for members of the military.

Michael J. Driscoll, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s field office in New York, said the scheme resulted in more than 300 stolen or counterfeit immunization cards circulating in the community as well as destruction.” multiple doses” of coronavirus vaccine.

Mr. Liu and Mr. Rodriguez were arrested Thursday morning and charged in an indictment with one count of conspiracy to defraud the US Department of Health and Human Services and one count of conspiracy to forge, said prosecutor.

Prosecutors said Mr. Liu was also charged with conspiring to defraud the Ministry of National Defense into providing fraudulent vaccination cards to Marine reservists.

“By intentionally distributing fraudulent Covid-19 vaccination cards to unvaccinated people, defendants put the military and other communities at risk of a virus that has claimed the lives of almost a million people in this country,” Breon Peace, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement. declare.

Both men pleaded not guilty Thursday in New York’s Eastern District Court.

A spokesman for the US attorney’s office said Mr. Liu was released with $250,000 in home custody with a GPS monitoring system. The spokesman said Mr. Rodriguez had been paid a $100,000 mortgage. If convicted, both men face up to 10 years in prison.

Benjamin Yaster, Mr. Liu’s attorney, declined to comment on the allegations.

“The allegations are clearly disturbing,” Gary Farrell, an attorney for Mr. Rodriguez, said in an email. “This young man has no history and has a good family, which is why he was released on a signed unsecured bond with the consent of the government.”

Prosecutors say the scheme runs from at least March 2021 until this month and provides buyers with blank vaccination cards or vaccination cards complete with forged information.

Buyers can also be entered into vaccination databases, allowing them to receive Cards Excelsiordisplay a user’s vaccination status in a digital app, prosecutors said.

According to prosecutors, as part of the scheme, Mr. Liu purchased blank vaccination cards from Mr. Rodriguez, then forged and distributed them for profit.

Liu also directed buyers to meet Mr. Rodriguez at his clinic in Hempstead, N.Y., which was not identified in court records, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said that at the clinic, Mr. Rodriguez would destroy a vial of the vaccine, then write the dose on a vaccination card as if he had given it to a buyer. He would then enter information into a vaccination database, falsely indicating that the buyer had been vaccinated, prosecutors said.

Both men promoted the plan on encrypted messaging apps and on social media, using codenames for vaccination cards such as “gift card”, “Cardi Bs”, “card” Christmas” and “Pokemon cards”.

Mr. Liu has faced charges in connection with the riots on January 6, 2021, when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol and attacked police officers as Congress searched How to certify the results of the presidential election.

Prosecutors said Mr. Liu, who was seen on video entering the Capitol in a black hooded jacket with an American flag on it, was charged last year with four counts, including conduct caused disorder in a building in the capital, prosecutors said. That case is still pending. Man charged on January 6 Riot for selling fake vaccination cards, US says

Fry Electronics Team

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