Two nurses have been arrested after they were caught allegedly selling fake Covid-19 vaccination certificates — making a reported $2.1 million from the scheme.
Julie DeVuono, 49, and Marissa Urraro, 44, who both worked at a children's medical practice, were charged with felony forgery, New York police say.
Ms DeVuono, who was reportedly the owner and operator of Wild Child Pediatric Healthcare in Amityville, was also charged with offering a false instrument for filing. They were both arraigned on Friday (local time).
The pair allegedly forged vaccine certificates between November 2021 and January 2022, charging over $300 for adults and over $120 for children, and entering the information into New York’s statewide database.
Undercover detective given 'fake vaccine card'
Prosecutors claim the nurses forged a card showing a vaccine was given to an undercover detective, but never administered the jab to the detective.
Law enforcement officers searched Ms DeVuono's home and reportedly seized more than $1.2 million in cash, and a ledger showing profits of more than $2.1 million from the scheme, which began in November.
Ms Urraro's lawyer Michael Alber said he hopes her arrest won't overshadow her "good work".
“We look forward to highlighting the legal impediments and defects of the investigation,” he said.
“It’s our hope that an accusation definitely doesn’t overshadow the good work Miss Urraro’s done for children and adults in the medical field.”
Suffolk County District Attorney, Raymond Tierney, said he hopes the women's arrests will deter anyone thinking of doing the same.
“I hope this sends a message to others who are considering gaming the system, that they will get caught and that we will enforce the law to the fullest extent,” he said in a statement with other officials.
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison added: “As nurses, these two individuals should understand the importance of legitimate vaccination cards as we all work together to protect public health.”
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