New York nurses charged with forging Covid vaccine playing cards to earn greater than $1.5 million

Prosecutors said that officers obtained a ledger documenting profits in excess of $1.5 million from the alleged illegal activity.

Office of the District Attorney County of Suffolk

Two nurses on New York’s Long Island are being charged with forging Covid-19 vaccination cards and entering the fake jabs in the state’s database, a scam that allegedly raked in more than $1.5 million.

The Suffolk County District Attorney on Friday arrested Julie DeVuono, 49, the owner and operator of Wild Child Pediatric Healthcare in Amityville and her employee, Marissa Urraro, 44, according to a complaint.

From November 2021 to January 2022, the pair of allegedly forged vaccination cards, charging adults $220 apiece and $85 per child for a fake record that would land in the New York State Immunization Information System database. Prosecutors said that on one or more occasions, DeVuono and Urrano allegedly created records to indicate a vaccine was given to an undercover detective despite never administering the vaccine.

Julie DeVuono (L) and Marissa Urraro’s booking photos from the Suffolk County Police Dept. on Jan. 29th, 2022

Courtesy: Suffolk County Police Department.

“Forging COVID-19 vaccination cards and entering false information into the New York
State database used to track vaccination records puts the health and well-being of others at risk, and undermines efforts to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” special agent Scott Lampert said in a statement announcing the charges.

During a search of DeVuono’s home, officials said officers seized roughly $900,000. They also allegedly found a ledger documenting profits from the scheme in excess of $1.5 million.

During a search of Julie DeVuono’s home, officials said officers seized roughly $900,000.

Office of the District Attorney County of Suffolk

DeVuono’s husband Derin DeVuono, who is a New York Police Department officer, is being investigated by the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau in terms of his possible involvement in his wife’s alleged scheme, sources told the New York Daily News.

DeVuono and Urraro are each being charged with one count of forgery in the second degree. DeVuono is also being charged with an additional count of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree. The pair’s legal defense was not immediately clear.

Just a month ago, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law criminalizing fake Covid-19 vaccination cards.

Hull man accused of forging paperwork to get CARES Act cash

BOSTON – A man from Hull is accused of filing fraudulent documents to obtain federal loans under a program designed to give money to companies affected by the pandemic.

Shane Spierdowis, 30, was charged with wire fraud in a criminal complaint. He was arrested Friday and later appeared for the first time in federal court in Boston.

He faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $ 250,000.

In the complaint, investigators said Spierdowis used fake social security numbers, a fake driver’s license, and fraudulent documents like tax forms to apply for loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, commonly known as the CARES law.

Investigators said Spierdowis received a Paycheck Protection Program loan of $ 101,517 on behalf of a limited liability company and a $ 89,900 loan for catastrophe losses on behalf of a separate company in February.

The forged documents show Spierdowis as presidents of both companies and reflect fictitious payments of thousands of dollars he made to non-existent employees in 2019, investigators said.

In reality, Spierdowis was in federal detention from May 2019 to June 29, 2020 after pleading guilty to parole violation under a sentence he received following a conviction in a separate stock manipulation scheme.

The names of the companies that were set up to receive the loans were never mentioned in previous court documents attempting to convince the court that Spierdowis was looking for work, prosecutors said.

The rump police helped the US secret service with the investigation.

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Joe Difazio can be reached at jdifazio@patriotledger.com. Follow him on Twitter @jldifazio.