NYC Healthcare Workers Bought Fake COVID Vaccine Cards: Prosecutors

  • Manhattan prosecutors have charged 15 people in connection with a fake COVID-19 vaccine card conspiracy.
  • Prosecutors allege Jasmine Clifford, who ran the Instagram page @AntiVaxMomma, sold 250 fake CDC vaccine cards for $200 each and charged an additional $250 to enter someone’s name into a state immunization database.
  • 13 people were charged with purchasing the fake cards, including hospital and nursing home workers.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday that it has charged 15 people in connection with a fake COVID-19 vaccine card conspiracy, including frontline healthcare workers.

Beginning in May, prosecutors said that Jasmine Clifford, a self-described entrepreneur who ran the Instagram page @AntiVaxMomma, advertised forged COVID-19 vaccine cards on that account. Clifford sold 25o faked vaccine cards in total, charged $200 for each card, and accepted payment through CashApp and Zelle, according to prosecutors. 

For an additional $250 fee, prosecutors allege Clifford would pass the names of people that bought the faked cards to Nadayza Barkley, who worked at a medical clinic in Patchogue, New York. Barkley entered the names of at least 10 people into the state’s immunization information system, claiming they were vaccinated, according to prosecutors.

Thirteen people who purchased the fake vaccine cards are believed to be “frontline and essential employees” working in places including nursing homes and hospitals, according to the release from the DA’s office, which did not identify the workers.

Clifford was charged with two felony counts for possessing a forgery instrument and for filing false immunizations and one misdemeanor count for conspiracy. Barkley faces one felony count for filing false immunizations and one misdemeanor for conspiracy.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Clifford retained an attorney. Barkley’s lawyer did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

The 13 people who purchased fake vaccine cards were each charged with one count of criminal possession of a forged instrument. One person was also charged with offering a false instrument for filing, for paying to have their name entered into the immunization database. 

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance called on Facebook to do a better job of keeping fraud from occurring on its website and the other social media platforms it owns, like Instagram.

“We need companies like Facebook to take action to prevent the fraud happening on their platforms,” Vance said in the release. “Making, selling, and purchasing forged vaccination cards are serious crimes with serious public safety consequences.”

Facebook did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 

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