Two Long Island, New York, nurses were arrested and are accused of making over $1.5 million in selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards, authorities said.
Julie DeVuono, who is the owner of Wild Child Pediatric Healthcare in the city of Amityville, and employee Marissa Urraro are accused of handing out vaccination cards and charging $220 for adults and $85 for children, according to the Suffolk County district attorney’s office.
“As nurses, these two individuals should understand the importance of legitimate vaccination cards as we all work together to protect public health,” Suffolk County, N.Y., Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said in a statement.
DeVuono and Urraro have pleaded not guilty, according to their lawyers. “In today’s uncertain times, courts are issuing rulings regarding the government overstepping their limits,” Michael Alber, an attorney for Urraro, said in a statement. “Because of this, now more than ever, it is so important that there is no rush to judgment in forming an opinion against the respected LPN,” he added, using the initialism for licensed practical nurse.
When asked what Urraro would be arguing in her defense, Alber said that “legal impediments and defects” in the investigation would be discussed further in court.
“We look forward to highlighting the legal impediments and defects of the investigation,” Alber said. “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.”
An attorney for DeVuono said Sunday that his client has demanded a jury trial and that it is too early in the case to comment extensively. “Let me just say this, I would implore your readers not to jump to conclusions,” Barry Smolowitz said in a brief phone call.