U.S.|California Woman Is Charged successful Fake Covid-19 Vaccine Card Scheme
Juli Mazi, who identifies arsenic a naturopathic doctor, besides sold “immunization pellets” to patients, national prosecutors said.
July 15, 2021, 11:29 a.m. ET
A homeopathic doc successful California is the archetypal idiosyncratic to look national charges for selling fake Covid-19 vaccination cards, the authorities said.
The doctor, Juli A. Mazi of Napa, Calif., besides sold Covid-19 “immunization pellets” to patients, national prosecutors said. She was arrested connected Wednesday and charged with 1 number of ligament fraud and 1 number of mendacious statements related to wellness attraction matters, according to a transgression complaint. Ms. Mazi faces up to 20 years successful situation and hundreds of thousands of dollars successful fines, the authorities said.
Ms. Mazi sold pellets for $243 that she said contained a “very infinitesimal amount” of the coronavirus that would trigger an immune effect and supply “lifelong immunity to Covid-19,” the ailment said. To promote customers to acquisition the pellets, prosecutors said, Ms. Mazi falsely told them that the 3 Covid-19 vaccines authorized for usage successful the United States contained “toxic ingredients.”
She besides offered homeopathic immunizations for puerility illnesses that she falsely claimed would fulfill immunization requirements for California schools, according to the complaint.
Ms. Mazi could not instantly beryllium reached for comment. It was not instantly wide if she had a lawyer.
She describes herself on her website arsenic a naturopathic doc who received her doctorate from the National University of Natural Medicine successful Portland, Ore. She is trained successful “traditional aesculapian sciences” and “ancient and modern modalities” that usage quality to heal, the tract says.
She besides offers “classical homeopathy,” a aesculapian strategy developed much than 200 years agone successful Germany. It uses the mentation that a illness tin beryllium cured by a substance that produces akin symptoms, and the conception that medications are much effectual astatine minimum dosages, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. There is small grounds to enactment homeopathy arsenic an effectual attraction for illnesses, the halfway said, citing a 2015 appraisal by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council. A fig of concepts successful homeopathy are not accordant with cardinal technological concepts, the halfway said.
The authorities began investigating Ms. Mazi aft idiosyncratic filed a ailment successful April saying that relatives had purchased the Covid-19 immunization pellets from her and that they had not received immoderate of the approved Covid-19 vaccinations. In summation to the pellets, prosecutors said, Ms. Mazi besides sent the household Covid-19 vaccination cards that listed Moderna. She instructed them to people the cards to falsely authorities that they received the vaccine connected the day they ingested the pellets.
It’s unclear however galore radical purchased Covid-19 immunization pellets from Ms. Mazi, but she received much than $200,000 done Square, a integer outgo processing company, from January 2020 to May 2021, the ailment said. A bulk of the transactions did not bespeak the intent of the payments, but 25 transactions amounting to much than $7,500 were noted to bespeak that they were for Covid-19 treatments, according to the complaint.
“This suspect allegedly defrauded and endangered the nationalist by preying connected fears and spreading misinformation astir F.D.A.-authorized vaccinations, portion besides peddling fake treatments that enactment people’s lives astatine risk,” Lisa O. Monaco, lawman lawyer general, said successful a statement. She added that the usage of mendacious vaccination cards allowed radical to “circumvent efforts to incorporate the dispersed of the disease.”
Steven J. Ryan, peculiar cause successful complaint of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, said the section would proceed to analyse “fraudsters” who mislead the public.
“This doc violated the all-important spot the nationalist extends to wellness attraction professionals — astatine a clip erstwhile integrity is needed the most,” helium said successful a statement.
In May, the authorities successful California arrested the proprietor of a barroom connected charges that he had sold fake Covid-19 vaccination cards astatine his business. There are besides concerns that radical sharing photographs of their vaccination card, implicit with their sanction and commencement date, could make themselves susceptible to individuality theft oregon scams.