The owner of Long Island's Wild Child Pediatric Healthcare and one of her employees allegedly made more than $1.5 million selling forged COVID-19 vaccination cards, per the New York Times. Julie DeVuono, 49, and Marissa Urraro, 44, were charged Friday with second-degree forgery, court records show. DeVuono, the owner of the Amityville practice and a nurse practitioner, is also charged with offering a false instrument for filing, the Hill reports. Urraro is a licensed practical nurse. The Suffolk County district attorney's office accuses the women of charging adults $220 and children $85 for forged vaccination cards and entering false information into the state’s database to support a scheme that allegedly began in November 2021.
Prosecutors allege the women sold a false card to an undercover police officer, leading to their arrests. Officials say they found $900,000 in cash at DeVuono's residence along with paper evidence indicating they had made $1.5 million in illegal gains over the November-to-January period. (See images of the alleged ledger here and here.) "I hope this sends a message to others who are considering gaming the system that they will get caught," said Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney. Urraro's attorney responded by citing "defects of the investigation" and saying, "It’s our hope that an accusation definitely doesn’t overshadow the good work Miss Urraro’s done for children and adults in the medical field." (A South Carolina nurse was in December charged with filling out fake vaccine cards.)