Authorities arrested two Long Island nurses for allegedly forging and selling fake vaccine cards. In addition, they entered the data into New York’s database. As a result, the two made over $1.5 million.
Manufacturer of Fake Vaccine Cards
In a news release, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office said they arrested suspects Julie DeVuono, 49, and Marissa Urraro, 44.
DeVuono is the owner and operator of Wild Child Pediatric Healthcare in Amityville, New York. Meanwhile, Urraro is an employee of the same facility.
Both women received one count of second-degree forgery. In addition, DeVuono also received the first-degree charge for offering a false instrument for filing.
DeVuono is a nurse practitioner while Urraro is a licensed practical nurse. The duo received Covid-19 vaccines, vaccination cards, and medical syringes from the New York State Department of Health.
$1.5 Million in Profits For Three Months’ Work
Authorities discovered the illegal activity and immediately formed a task force. Agents included members from the Suffolk County DA squad, and US and NY Department of Health enforcers.
An undercover detective managed to document the way the two ran their fake vaccine cards scam. They allegedly forged vaccine cards to make it seem the bearer got shots.
Then, they entered the false information into the New York State Immunization Information System.
According to prosecutors, the fake vaccine cards cost $220 for adults and $85 for children. During a search of the DeVuono’s home, authorities seized $900,000 in cash.
They also seized a ledger that listed their profits, which totaled $1.5 million. This covered only three months’ worth of work, between November 2021 to January 2022.
Suspects Entered Not Guilty Plea
Consequently, both suspects entered a plea of not guilty. Barry Smolowitz, DeVuono’s attorney, said they’re looking further into the case.
He complained that authorities haven’t given him anything except the complaint. Meanwhile, Michael Aber, Urraro’s lawyer said her client was a good person. “An accusation should not overshadow the good work Ms. Urraro has done for children and adults in the medical field.”
“In today’s uncertain times' courts are issuing rulings regarding the Government overstepping their limits. Because of this, now more than ever, it is so important that there is no rush to judgment in forming an opinion against a respected LPN (licensed practical nurse). We look forward to highlighting the legal impediments and defects in this investigation,” he added.
Used Their Respected Positions To Engage In Unlawful Conduct
Meanwhile, Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney issued a statement showing his disappointment.
He said that the two used their position as licensed healthcare professionals to engage in criminal conduct for financial gain. “I hope this sends a message to others who are considering gaming the system,” he said. “They will get caught and that we will enforce the law to the fullest extent,” he added.
Watch the CBS New York video reporting that 2 Long Island nurses accused of forging COVID vaccination cards:
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