Julie DeVuono (49), and Marissa Urraro (44), were both charged with second-degree fraud. DeVuono was also accused of offering a false filing instrument.
Prosecutors allege that two nurses from Long Island, New York, forged Covid-19 vaccination certificates and entered false shots into the state’s database. This scheme netted them more than $1.5 million.
Julie DeVuono (49), the owner and operator at Wild Child Pediatric Healthcare Amityville and Marissa Urraro (44) were both arrested on Thursday, according to a Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office news release.
Each woman was charged with second-degree forgery. According to the release, DeVuono was also charged for first-degree offering false instruments for filing.
Prosecutors said that DeVuono, who is a nurse practitioner and Urraro were licensed practical nurses. They received Covid-19 vaccinations, cards, and medical syringes through the New York State Department of Health.
They forged official cards to show that a vaccine had been given to an undercover detective, even though they did not receive the shot. DeVuono, Urraro and others are also accused of having entered false information in the New York State Immunization Info System (NYSIIS).
Prosecutors said they charged $220 for adults, and $85 for children, for false vaccination cards.
According to the news release, $900,000.00 was seized by law enforcement officers during a search at DeVuono’s home. Also, a ledger that recorded their profits of more than $1.5 million between November 2021 and January 2022 was seized.
Barry Mark Smolowitz (DeVuono’s lawyer) told NBC News Monday morning that DeVuono and her employee were arraigned Friday morning. Both agreed to a plea of non-guilty.
He stated that he was only given the complaint. “We are looking further
Michael J. Alber was Urraro’s attorney. He stated, “An accusation shouldn’t overshadow the good works Ms. Urraro did for children and adults in medicine.”
“In these uncertain times, courts are issuing rulings concerning the Government exceeding their limits. It is important to not rush to form an opinion against a well-respected LPN (licensed practical nurse). He said that he was looking forward to highlighting legal issues and flaws in the investigation.
Raymond A. Tierney, Suffolk County District Attorney, stated in a statement that “These individuals used their positions of licensed healthcare professionals to engage criminal conduct for their financial gain.”
He said, “I hope that this sends a signal to others who might be gaming the system that they will be caught and that the law will be enforced to the fullest extent.”
Members of the Suffolk County Police Department’s DA team were assigned to Tierney’s Office with the assistance of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and New York State Department of Health.