We will continue to safeguard public health in New York with proactive investigations like these, but the stakes are too high to tackle fake vaccination cards with whack-a-mole prosecutions. Making, selling, and purchasing forged vaccination cards are serious crimes with serious public safety consequences. — Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney
We will continue to safeguard public health in New York with proactive investigations like these, but the stakes are too high to tackle fake vaccination cards with whack-a-mole prosecutions. Making, selling, and purchasing forged vaccination cards are serious crimes with serious public safety consequences. — Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney
New Jersey Woman Charged With Selling Fake Vaccine Cards
A New Jersey woman who used the Instagram handle @AntiVaxMomma was charged in a conspiracy to sell hundreds of fake coronavirus vaccination cards over the social media platform, Manhattan prosecutors said on Tuesday.

The allegations against the woman, Jasmine Clifford, 31, were unveiled in Manhattan criminal court. Prosecutors said that Ms. Clifford sold about 250 forged cards over Instagram.

She also worked with another woman, Nadayza Barkley, 27, who is employed at a medical clinic in Patchogue, N.Y., to fraudulently enter at least 10 people into New York’s immunization database, prosecutors said.

There was a warrant out for Ms. Clifford’s arrest, but she did not appear in the courtroom on Tuesday. She is expected to be charged with two felonies related to the scheme, in addition to the conspiracy charge, which is a misdemeanor.

Ms. Barkley, who did appear in court, was charged with a felony, as were 13 people who purchased the cards, some of whom worked in hospitals and nursing homes. A lawyer for Ms. Clifford could not immediately be reached for comment. Theodore Goldbergh, a lawyer who represented Ms. Barkley at the appearance, said that she had been released on her own recognizance but declined to comment further.

Beginning in May, prosecutors said, Ms. Clifford, who described herself online as an entrepreneur and the operator of multiple businesses, began advertising forged vaccination cards through her Instagram account.

She charged $200 for the falsified cards, prosecutors said. For $250 more, Ms. Barkley would enter a customer’s name into New York’s official immunization database, enabling him or her to obtain the state’s Excelsior Pass, a digital certificate of vaccination.

Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, released a statement that called on Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, to crack down on fraud.

“We will continue to safeguard public health in New York with proactive investigations like these, but the stakes are too high to tackle fake vaccination cards with whack-a-mole prosecutions,” Mr. Vance said. “Making, selling, and purchasing forged vaccination cards are serious crimes with serious public safety consequences.”
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/31/nyregion/fake-vaccine-cards-woman-charged.html