A Long Island pediatric nurse practitioner and her employee are accused of making $1.5 million from selling fake COVID-19 vaccine cards, and her NYPD officer husband is reportedly facing an internal probe for his potential involvement.
Nurse practitioner Julie DeVuono, 49, who owns Wild Child Pediatrics Healthcare on Long Island, and her employee Marissa Urraro, 44, a practical nurse, are accused of selling fake vaccination cards after undercover detectives obtained one ‘on one or more occasions.’
DeVuono allegedly charged $220 for adults and $85 for children to enter falsified information to the New York State Immunization Information System – reportedly making $1.5 million in just three months, according to CBS New York.
Despite receiving vaccines and syringes being sent to the practice from the government, patients never received a vaccine.
When police searched the DeVuono’s home in Amityville, they found $900,000 in cash, some of it found in NYPD-issued helmet bags, sources told the New York Daily News, drawing suspicion to her husband Derin, a police officer at Brooklyn’s 60th Precinct.
Both nurse practitioners have been charged with forgery, and DeVuono for offering a false instrument for filing.
Both women were seen leaving Suffolk County Court on Friday where they pleaded not guilty at their arraignment hearing and they were both released without bail.
Derin is now reportedly under an internal investigation to see if he was involved in his wife’s fraudulent business. In 2020, Derin had lost five vacation days after he was accused of making a penis-shaped flight path in an NYPD plane in 2017 when he was a part of the force’s Aviation Unit.
Julie DeVuono, 49 (left), who owns Wild Child Pediatrics Healthcare on Long Island, was charged with forgery and offering a false instrument for filing for fake vaccination cards. Practical nurse and Wild Child Pediatrics employee, Marissa Urraro, 44 (right), was also charged with forgery
Her husband Derin, an NYPD officer, is now facing an internal probe after money was found in NYPD-issued helmet bags
Police found $900,000 in cash inside NYPD-issued helmet bags
When police searched the DeVuono household, they found a ledger (pictured) that appeared to show the women made $1.5million in three months time
Local business owners reportedly became suspicious after seeing increased foot traffic at the health care center, CBS New York reported.
‘It’s frightening beyond words,’ Erin Bevilacqua from Park Avenue Grill told CBS New York.
‘I’m grateful it’s been put to an end. Break laws, give fake vaccines, it’s very disheartening.’
‘As nurses, these two individuals should understand the importance of legitimate vaccination cards as we all work together to protect public health,’ Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney K. Harrison said in a statement.
Urraro’s lawyer called her ‘a respected license practical nurse’ and said there were ‘defects’ in the prosecutor’s investigations.
‘From our preliminary investigation, there are defects in the [prosecutors’] investigation and legal impediments to how the case came about,’ her Michael Alber told the New York Daily News.
DeVuono (pictured in a hat) and Urraro both pleaded not guilty at the Suffolk County Court on Friday and were released with no bail
Local businesses noticed more foot traffic inside the pediatrics center (pictured), causing suspicion
The revelation comes shortly after parents marching in a Parents Rights Rally on Long Island recently, where many took their children out of school to protest mask wearing.
‘They don’t care, they don’t believe that this is something that is real. They see an opportunity and take it.’
In addition, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, 63, made fraudulent vaccine cards. Falsifying vaccine cards will now be classified as a misdemeanor in the state, and using a computer to tamper with vaccination cards will now be classified as a felony.