NAPA (CBS13) — A Northern California doctor is the first person to face federal charges for allegedly giving out fake coronavirus vaccine cards.
Dr. Julie Mazi, 41, of Napa, is accused of giving patients oral immunization pellets that she said contained small amounts of COVID and would offer life-long protection. Prosecutors say she then gave patients fake vaccine cards showing they received the Moderna shot.READ MORE: City Council Approves Adding Speed Bumps To More Sacramento Neighborhoods
Mazi was charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of false statements related to health care matters.
“This defendant allegedly defrauded and endangered the public by preying on fears and spreading misinformation about FDA-authorized vaccinations, while also peddling fake treatments that put people’s lives at risk,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco.READ MORE: 'Facing A Ticking Clock': Crews Prep Caldor Fire Burn Scar Ahead Of Anticipated Storms
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, in April 2021, an individual submitted a complaint to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) claiming family members had bought COVID-19 homeoprophylaxis immunization pellets from Mazi. Mazi allegedly then told the family to mark their vaccination cards to falsely state that they received the Moderna vaccine on the same date that they took the pellets.
“This doctor violated the all-important trust the public extends to healthcare professionals — at a time when integrity is needed the most,” said Special Agent in Charge Steven J. Ryan of the HHS-OIG. “Working closely with our law enforcement partners, our agency will continue to investigate such fraudsters who recklessly endanger the public’s health during the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis.”MORE NEWS: Sacramento Kings Announce New Luxury High-Rise Just Blocks Away From Golden 1 Center
The DOJ said Mazi allegedly also offered the homeoprophylaxis immunizations for childhood illnesses that she falsely claimed would meet California schools’ immunization requirements and forged vaccination cards submitted by parents to schools.