Picture: Julie DeVuono arrives at Suffolk County Court in Riverhead on Wednesday for her arraignment on upgraded charges alleging she ran a COVID-19 vaccine card scam. Credit: James Carbone
AMITYVILLE PEDIATRIC NURSE PRACTITIONER INDICTED FOR SELLING FORGED COVID-19 VACCINATION CARDS AND FILING MULTIPLE FALSE PRESCRIPTIONS FOR OXYCODONE WITH THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Julie DeVuono Faces Two Separate Indictments for Charges Including Forgery, Money-Laundering, Conspiracy, and Multiple Counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing
12 April 2023
(SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y.) – Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney today announced that Julie DeVuono, 50, of Amityville, and her corporation Kids-On-Call Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, P.C., d/b/a Wild Child Pediatric Healthcare, face a 14-count indictment for allegedly selling forged COVID-19 Vaccination Record Cards, entering false information of receiving the vaccination into the state’s immunization system, and laundering the proceeds from this criminal conduct. In addition, DeVuono faces a separate 20-count indictment for allegedly creating false prescriptions for Oxycodone for people who were not her patients and submitting these false prescriptions electronically to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).
“This defendant thought she could use her position as a nurse practitioner to circumvent the law by allegedly uploading false information into New York state-wide databases,” said District Attorney Tierney. “The defendant’s abuse of authority in pursuit of her own enrichment put people’s health and safety at risk, and it will not be tolerated in Suffolk County.”
“Vaccination record cards are an important tool used to help protect public health and safety,” said Naomi Gruchacz, Special Agent in Charge with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). “HHS-OIG will continue to hold accountable any health care professionals who exploit their access to patient information, undermine crucial public health measures, and put the health of their communities at risk.”
“Protecting New York’s public-health programs from fraud, abuse, and criminal misuse is essential to community health and safety,” said New York State Department of Health Director of Investigations Joseph A. Giovannetti, Esq. “Thank you to the Suffolk County DA’s Office, Suffolk County Police Department, and HHS-OIG for collaborating with the Department of Health around this important enforcement work.”
According to the investigation, between June 15, 2021 and January 27, 2022, DeVuono, while acting in concert with co-defendants Brooke Hogan and Marissa Urraro, a Licensed Practical Nurse, allegedly sold forged COVID-19 Vaccination Record Cards to customers and entered false information that the customer received a COVID-19 Vaccination into the New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS). In 2021, each adult customer was charged $220 for a false entry on the COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card and a false entry into NYSIIS. In 2022, each adult customer was charged $350 for a false entry on the COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card and a false entry into NYSIIS. False entries for children were $85 each. DeVuono then allegedly laundered the proceeds from the scheme by transferring funds through several accounts and reinvesting the proceeds back into the business in furtherance of her illegal operation. As a result of that investigation, DeVuono, and her corporation, Kids-On-Call Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, P.C., were indicted for the following charges:
- Six counts of Forgery in the Second Degree, a Class D felony;
- Five counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a Class E felony;
- One count of Money Laundering in the Second Degree, a Class C felony;
- One count of Money Laundering in the Fourth Degree, a Class E felony; and
- One count of Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, a Class A misdemeanor.
Additionally, DeVuono is charged in a separate indictment with 20 counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a Class E felony. According to that investigation, between February 2019 to February 2021, DeVuono allegedly submitted false prescriptions for Oxycodone for individuals who were not her patients, to local pharmacies in Suffolk County. DeVuono knew these electronic prescriptions would be filed with the NYSDOH after they were submitted to the local pharmacies electronically.
On April 12, 2023, DeVuono was arraigned on both indictments by Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable John B. Collins, who placed DeVuono on supervised release with GPS conditions. DeVuono is due back in court on May 19, 2023, and is being represented by Jason Russo, Esq. and Steven Gaitman, Esq.
These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys James Bartens and Adriana Noyola of the Financial Crimes Bureau.
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