The authorities have arrested two Long Island nurses who sold bogus vaccine cards for thousands of dollars. The nurses, Julie DeVuono and Marissa Urraro were charged for second-degree forgery, a felony, according to court records.
While Marissa Urraro is a 44-year-old licensed practical nurse, DeVuono, a pediatric nurse practitioner is married to NYPD officer Derin DeVuono, who is being investigated.
Nurses Charged $220 for Adults and $85 for Children
In December, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, signed a law which made it illegal to falsify the vaccine records. Apart from selling the fake vaccine cards, the duo was also entering false information into the state vaccine database.
Business Insider reported that DeVuono, who was additionally charged with "offering a false instrument for filing," was running the fake vax cards scam along with Urraro since November, last year. The nurse got the health department's blank vaccine cards from the Wild Child Pediatric Healthcare in Amityville.
According to the police, the nurses charged $220 for adults and $85 for children to issue the fake vaccine cards. After selling the fake cards, they would enter the information into the New York State Immunization Information System, claiming a vaccine was administered to the card recipients.
"As nurses, these two individuals should understand the importance of legitimate vaccination cards as we all work together to protect public health," Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney K. Harrison said in a statement Friday.
Cash Found at DeVuono's Residence
Claiming that during the search, the investigating authorities found $900,000 in cash and records from DeVuono's home, The Daily News reported that she made over $1.5 million by selling the fake cards.
The outlet also reported that police also found some cash stashed away in helmet bags issued by the New York City Police Department. Quoting a source, the outlet reported that DeVuono's husband, is now being investigated by the department for any possible involvement in the fraud scheme.
Earlier, Derin, who was accused of piloting a NYPD spy plane on a penis-shaped flight path in 2017, when he was a member of the department's Aviation Unit. He was also accused of misusing the federally-funded $4 million Cessna plane, making improper entries in a flight log and not conducting flight surveys, the outlet claimed.