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Fake COVID-19 Vax Cards Lead to Charges for 15 in New York

Fifteen people are facing allegations that they were part of a scheme that involved the creation of fake COVID-19vaccination cards after Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. filed the charges on Tuesday (Aug. 31), according to an announcement from the New York District Attorney’s Office.

Jasmine Clifford, 31, who allegedly sold almost 250 forged COVID-19 vaccination cards using her Instagram account, was charged with offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, conspiracy in the fifth degree and criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree, according to an Axios report.

Clifford conspired with Nadayza Barkley, 27, to enter at least 10 individuals into the New York State Immunization Information System database who weren’t vaccinated, the charges allege. Thirteen of the people who bought the alleged fake vaccination cards are believed to work in essential-employee settings, including hospitals, and they were also charged in the conspiracy.

Clifford, a self-proclaimed entrepreneur who has multiple online businesses, advertised forged COVID-19 vaccination cards through her @AntiVaxMomma Instagram account starting in May, according to the charges. She charged $200 for fake CDC vaccination cards, and Barkley added the person’s name to the NYSIIS database as being vaccinated for an extra $250, according to the allegations.

“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,” Vance said. “We need companies like Facebook to take action to prevent the fraud from happening on their platforms.”

Facebook did not immediately respond to Axios’ request for comment.

Related: Walmart Rolls out Digital Wallets for COVID Vaccine Records

Walmart began offering customers access to their health information through a free digital wallet in June, according to a press release. Users can decide whether to use this wallet to share their health info, beginning with their COVID-19 vaccination record.

This program lets people store their vaccine record in their Walmart or Sam’s Club online pharmacy account, and then print it, share it or save it to a device. It is open to anyone over 18 who was vaccinated for COVID-19 at a Walmart/Sam’s Club pharmacy or a Walmart-sponsored event.

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