Two New York Nurses Who Were Arrested Made $1.5 Million in a Phony Vaccine Card Scheme.
According to prosecutors, two nurses on Long Island, New York, allegedly forged Covid-19 vaccination cards and entered the fictitious shots into the state’s database in a scheme that netted them more than $1.5 million.
According to a news release from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, Julie Given, 49, the owner and operator of Wild Child Pediatric Healthcare in Amityville, and her employee Marissa Urraro, 44, were arrested on Thursday.
Both women were charged with forgery in the second degree, which is a felony. According to the release, DeVuono was also charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, which is a felony.
Prosecutors claim that DeVuono, a nurse practitioner, and Urraro, a licensed practical nurse, received Covid-19 vaccines, vaccination cards, and medical syringes from the New York State Department of Health in their capacity as nurse practitioners.
They are accused of forging official cards to indicate that a vaccine was administered to an undercover detective on one or more occasions, despite the fact that the vaccine was never administered. DeVuono and Urraro are also accused of inputting false information into the New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS), which is maintained by the state.
According to prosecutors, they charged $220 for adult vaccination cards and $85 for children’s vaccination cards for the forged documents.
According to a news release, law enforcement officers raided DeVuono’s home and seized $900,000 in cash as well as a ledger that detailed the company’s profits of more than $1.5 million from November 2021 to January 2022, as well as a laptop computer.
NBC News reported on Monday morning that DeVuono’s attorney, Barry Mark Smolowitz, confirmed that his client, along with her employee, was arraigned on Friday morning. Both entered a not-guilty plea on their behalf.
He claims that he has received nothing more than the complaint in the case. “This is something we’re looking into further,” he said.
“An accusation should not overshadow the good work Ms. Urraro has done for children and adults in the medical field,” Urraro’s attorney, Michael J. Alber, stated.
“In these uncertain times, courts are issuing rulings on whether or not the government has exceeded its authority. ” Therefore, it is more important than ever that no hasty conclusions are reached when it comes to forming an opinion against a well-respected licensed practical nurse (LPN) (licensed practical nurse).
It is our hope that the legal impediments and flaws in this investigation will be brought to light,” he added.
“These individuals are alleged to have used their positions as licensed healthcare professionals to engage in criminal conduct for their own financial gain,” Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney said in a press release.
In addition, “I hope this sends a message to others who are considering gaming the system that they will be apprehended and that we will enforce the law to the fullest extent possible,” he said.
In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the New York State Department of Health, members of the Suffolk County Police Department’s DA squad assigned to Tierney’s office were able to uncover the scam.