Nurse pleads guilty to forging COVID-19 vaccination cards

A New York nurse pleaded guilty to forging COVID-19 vaccination record cards and illegally obtaining prescriptions for oxycodone for herself in the name of relatives.

Julie DeVuono, a nurse practitioner and owner and operator of Amityville, N.Y.-based Wild Child Pediatric Healthcare, and her employee, Marissa Urraro, a licensed practical nurse, allegedly used their positions with the New York State Department of Health to obtain COVID-19 shots, along with COVID-19 vaccination cards and medical syringes, prosecutors said. From November 2021 to January 2022, the pair allegedly forged the vaccination cards, entered the false information into the New York State Immunization Information System database, and charged up to $350 for each false entry. Prosecutors said law enforcement found about $900,000 in Ms. DeVuono's home, along with a ledger documenting profits of more than $1.5 million from the alleged scheme.

The investigation also found between February 10, 2019, and Aug. 14, 2021, Ms. DeVuono submitted false prescriptions for oxycodone to local pharmacies that had false entries with other people's names, some of whom were her relatives. She obtained and kept the controlled substance for herself, according to a Sept. 15 press release from the Suffolk County district attorney's office.

On Sept. 15, Ms. DeVuono and her corporation pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering in the second degree, one count of forgery in the second degree and one count of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree. She and the corporation agreed to forfeit criminal proceeds totaling more than $1.25 million. Ms. DeVuono also surrendered her nursing licenses and her certificate of incorporation.

She is due to be sentenced Nov. 17.


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