South Carolina nurse faces up to 35 years in prison for ‘filling out fake COVID-19 vaccine cards for people who had not received the jab’
- Tammy McDonald, 53, of Columbia, South Carolina, faces up to 35 years in prison for allegedly filling out fake vaccine cards
- McDonald works as a nursing director at an unnamed nursing and rehabilitation center in Columbia
- She is accused with filling out two fake vaccine cards, one in June and one in July, and has also been charged with lying to investigators
- There is a budding black market for fake vaccine cards as employer vaccine mandates are becoming commonplace
A nurse in Columbia, South Carolina, is facing up to 35 years after she was indicted on allegations that she filled out fraudulent COVID-19 vaccine cards for those who had not yet received the jab.
Tammy McDonald, 53, was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury with two counts of producing fraudulent COVID-19 Vaccination Record Cards – each carrying up to 15 years of prison – and one count of lying to federal investigators – a crime that carries up to five years.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) said that the woman worked as a nursing director at an unnamed nursing and rehabilitation center in Columbia.
McDonald is the first South Carolinian to ever be indicted on charges of creating fraudulent vaccine cards, the DoJ said.
She is pleading not guilty to the charges.
Tammy McDonald, a nursing director in Columbia, South Carolina, has been indicted on two counts of filling out fake vaccine cards for people who not yet received the shot. She was also charged with lying to investigators. McDonald faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted (file photo)
‘Although the indictment speaks for itself, creating fraudulent or fake vaccine cards for those who have not been vaccinated poses a direct threat to the health of the people of South Carolina,’ said Rhett DeHart, an acting U.S. attorney with the DoJ, said in a statement.
‘I want to thank our federal and state partners for their quick work in acting on this matter.
‘This office will continue to prosecute fraud related to the Coronavirus in all its forms, and this case speaks to those efforts.’
The indictment alleges that McDonald knowingly produced fraudulent vaccine cards on June 20 and July 28.
She was questioned on the matter by officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) on October 22.
McDonald allegedly lied to the officials, saying that she first did not have access to vaccine cards, and second did not fraudulently fill out the cards.
‘The indictment alleges McDonald defrauded and endangered the public by creating and distributing fake COVID-19 vaccination cards,’ stated Derrick Jackson, a special agent with the HHS Office of Inspector General.
‘Engaging in such illegal activities undermines the ongoing pandemic response efforts,’
‘We remain committed to working with our law enforcement partners to investigate individuals who are exploiting the pandemic and people for personal gain.’
McDonald was granted a $10,000 bond.
A black market of sorts has formed for fake Covid vaccine cards.
Many businesses around America require a person to be vaccinated to be allowed inside – whether by choice or due to local or state mandates.
American employers are also beginning to enforce COVID-19 vaccine requirements – some at the behest of the government – leading many to seek workaround to keep their job without receiving the shot.
A Maryland man, Amar Shabazz, 23, was also arrested by the DoJ for selling fake vaccine cards for around $75 each.
The agency alleges that the man sold around 600 of the cards off of Facebook advertising before he was arrested.
Antonio Brown, an NFL wide receiver that plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was also suspended by the league last week – along with two other NFL players – for allegedly submitting a fake vaccine card earlier in the year.
To respond to these kinds of incidents, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force in May, devoting resources to stopping cases like these, and other cases of fraud related to the pandemic.
‘Since the beginning of the pandemic, the FBI and its partners have been at the forefront of investigating crimes involving fraudulent COVID-19 schemes,’ said Susan Ferensic, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Columbia Field Office.
‘Producing fraudulent vaccination cards is a serious matter and is not taken lightly. Anyone leading or participating in this type of activity should know there will be consequences.’