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Nurses Charged With Promoting Faux Vaccine Playing cards Allegedly Laundered $1.5M and Paid Mortgage

Julie DeVuono, a 49-year-old pediatric Nurse Practitioner in New York Metropolis, was arrested in January 2022 on expenses of second-degree forgery and providing a false instrument for submitting. She is accused of working a fraudulent vaccine card scheme out of her de ella Lengthy Island-based clinic, Wild Youngster Pediatric Healthcare, from November 2021 via January 2022.

In response to courtroom paperwork, she laundered over $1.5 million from the scheme in simply over two months. One among DeVuono’s workers, a 44-year-old Licensed Sensible Nurse named Marissa Urraro, was additionally arrested on expenses of second-degree forgery for her function within the rip-off.

Julie DeVuono (left) and Marissa Urraro. (Photograph by way of Suffolk County PD)

Vaccine Card Fraud Particulars

DeVuono acquired shipments of the Covid-19 vaccine via the New York Division of Well being to manage to her sufferers without cost. As an alternative, DeVuono and Urraro repeatedly wasted the doses and charged prospects for solid vaccine playing cards that said they’d acquired the vaccine after they had not. DeVuono and Urraro are additionally accused of including false vaccination data to the New York State Immunization Info System database, which is utilized by the New York Division of Well being to trace vaccination standing.

In response to prosecutors, DeVuono charged prospects $85 per youngster and $220 per grownup for every of the false vaccine entries. She created a secret code throughout the digital well being file system to sign to Urraro that sufferers could be falsely vaccinated. Urraro would then take sufferers into an examination room and feign giving them the vaccine, settle for cost in money, and distribute the false vaccination playing cards with DeVuono’s title and license quantity utilized.

The rip-off was found by undercover detectives, who got vaccination playing cards on the clinic on a number of events with out ever having acquired the vaccine.

DeVuono’s Arrest

Regulation enforcement officers seized practically $900,000 in money from DeVuono’s dwelling, in addition to a written ledger indicating $1.5 million in income from the scheme. DeVuono’s husband, an NYPD officer, was dwelling on the time of the arrest and was allegedly conscious of the existence of the stashed money.

(picture by way of Suffolk County District Legal professional’s Workplace)

Though he was not arrested, Mr. DeVuono was stripped of his gun and badge and faraway from lively obligation following his spouse’s arrest. He subsequently filed a petition to be reinstated to lively obligation, claiming that he was circuitously concerned in his spouse’s vaccination rip-off. On-line data point out his employment of him with the NYPD led to September 2022.

The Attorneys and DA Converse Out

DeVuono’s legal professional, Barry Mark Smolowitz, has denied any wrongdoing on behalf of his shopper. In a short cellphone name with The Washington Submit, Smolowitz was quoted saying, “Let me simply say this — I’d implore your readers to not soar to conclusions.” He has in any other case remained markedly silent within the press.

Michael Alber, Urraro’s legal professional, launched an official assertion, saying, “An prosecution mustn’t overshadow the nice work Ms. Urraro has finished for kids and adults within the medical subject…it’s so necessary that there isn’t a rush to judgment in forming an opinion in opposition to a revered LPN. We look ahead to highlighting the authorized impediments and defects on this investigation.”

Suffolk County District Legal professional Raymond A. Tierney additionally launched a press release, saying, “These people allegedly used their positions as licensed healthcare professionals to interact in legal conduct for his or her monetary profit.” Tierney stated he hopes the arrests decide others from trying to “sport the system” and he feels assured that the legislation might be enforced to its fullest extent.

Each DeVuono and Urraro have been launched from police custody shortly after their arrest. They’ve each entered a not-guilty plea and are awaiting trial.

Nursing License Standing

In response to the New York license verification database, DeVuono has been licensed as a Nurse Practitioner within the state of New York since 2002 and Urarro has been a Licensed Sensible Nurse since 2019.

On the time of publication, each suspects’ licenses are listed as “Registered” with no enforcement actions taken in opposition to them. Presumably, if DeVuono and Urarro are convicted, actions might be taken in opposition to their nursing licenses at the moment.

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