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Tipsheet

Two Nurses Reportedly Made $1.5 Million Selling Fake COVID-19 Vaccination Cards

AP Photo/Angie Wang

Two nurses from Long Island reportedly amassed $1.5 million selling fake Wuhan coronavirus vaccination cards. 

According to The Washington Post, nurses Julie DeVuono and Marissa Urraro were arrested last week and charged with forgery. The two allegedly sold fake vaccine cards and entered them into a state database. Authorities said the two left behind a ledger recording profits of more than $1.5 million.

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“As nurses, these two individuals should understand the importance of legitimate vaccination cards as we all work together to protect public health,” Suffolk County, New York Police Commissioner Rodney K. Harrison said in a statement to the Post.

The Post noted that DeVuono has previously “offered to help people avoid vaccination.” In 2017 and 2018, her pediatric practice advertised “vaccine exemption workshops” that gave individuals tips for “the best chance of acceptance” of an exemption.

The New York Daily News reported that DeVuono and Urraro charged adults $220 and children $85 for the fraudulent vaccine cards. “Undercover detectives told prosecutors they were given vaccine cards at the pediatric office ‘on one or more occasions,’ but a vaccine was never administered,’’ the Daily News’ report stated.

DeVuono’s husband, New York Police Department officer Derin DeVuono is reportedly being investigated by the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau for any involvement he may have had in providing fake vaccine cards.

“During a search of the DeVuonos’ Amityville home Thursday night, cops found $900,000 in cash and a ledger indicating the scheme has racked up over $1.5 million since November, prosecutors said,” the Daily News wrote. “Some of the cash was found in NYPD-issued helmet bags, sources said.”

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In December, as I covered, Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a law making falsifying a COVID-19 vaccine card punishable with one year in jail. The legislation, known as the “Truth in Vaccination” law, makes faking a vaccine card a class A misdemeanor and tampering with computer records related to vaccinations a class E felony.

“Individuals who misrepresent their vaccination history, not only jeopardize their own health, but the health of all those they come into contact with,” a press release from Hochul’s office stated. “This legislation ensures that as New York opens up and many businesses choose to rely on checking vaccination status, the falsification of vaccination records will not be tolerated.”

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