Rioter And Nurse Indicted In Fake Vax Cards Scheme

Law & Crime reports:

A Marine Reservist currently facing charges for storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 has been named in an indictment accusing him and a nurse of making and selling fake Covid vaccination cards.

Federal prosecutors say that Steven Rodriguez, 27, a nurse at a healthcare clinic on Long Island, and Jia Liu, 26, a member of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, plotted to make and distribute false cards that claimed to show a person had received the COVID-19 vaccination when they hadn’t.

Prosecutors say that between March of 2021 and February of 2022, Rodriguez and Liu managed to get at least 300 fake cards into circulation through a multi-step scheme that included destroying actual vials of the vaccine.

CNBC reports:

Liu separately is charged with providing these cards to Marine Corps reservists, thus defrauding the Defense Department.

Prosecutors said the scheme led to more than 300 stolen or false vaccine cards circulating and created more than 70 false entries in immunization databases. “They referred to COVID-19 Vaccination Cards using code names, such as “gift cards,” “Cardi Bs,” “Christmas cards” and “Pokemon cards.”

That allowed “unvaccinated individuals to receive the Excelsior Pass, which displays a user’s vaccination status in a digital app,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a press release.