Source: Division of Justice
A U.S. Marine Corps Reservist from New York who earlier was arrested on prices similar to participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot has been charged in a new situation of conspiring to sell phony Covid-19 vaccination playing cards to fellow reservists, prosecutors stated Thursday.
The reservist, 26-year-old Queens resident Jia Liu, is accused of conspiring with a nurse named Steven Rodriguez, 27, to defraud the U.S. Department of Health and fitness and Human Providers in the phony card distribution plan, in accordance to prosecutors in the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.
Liu separately is billed with delivering these cards to Marine Corps reservists, as a result defrauding the Defense Section.
The Protection Department beforehand requested that all energetic and reserve army assistance users be vaccinated in opposition to Covid from August to January.
Liu’s alleged distribution of the faux cards to other Marine reservists aided them evade this necessity, prosecutors observed.
“By intentionally distributing fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination playing cards to the unvaccinated, the defendants set armed service and other communities at possibility of contracting a virus that has presently claimed practically 1 million life in this nation,” said U.S. Lawyer Breon Peace.
“This Office continues to be dedicated to rooting out and prosecuting all those men and women who threaten our community overall health and basic safety for gain.”
Prosecutors said the plan led to extra than 300 stolen or untrue vaccine playing cards circulating and made extra than 70 fake entries in immunization databases.
That permitted “unvaccinated people today to acquire the Excelsior Go, which shows a user’s vaccination status in a digital app,” the U.S. Attorney’s Workplace mentioned in a push release.
The plan allegedly ran from March 2021 as a result of this thirty day period.
Prosecutors reported Liu and Rodriguez, who worked in a Extensive Island clinic, “promoted their plan via messages on encrypted messaging purposes and on social media.”
“They referred to COVID-19 Vaccination Playing cards utilizing code names, these types of as “present playing cards,” “Cardi Bs,” “Xmas cards” and “Pokemon playing cards.”
Courtroom files say Lin purchased blank vaccine playing cards, from Rodriguez, and then forged and distributed them to buyers and other co-conspirators for profit.
Liu also told buyers to meet up with Rodriguez in individual at the clinic where he performs to invest in fraudulent cards, documents say.
Supply: Division of Justice
“Rodriguez would meet the buyer, but as an alternative of administering the vaccine he wrecked a vial of vaccine intended to be used to vaccinate a individual,” prosecutors reported.
“He then provided a cast COVID-19 Vaccination Card to the purchaser that he done to make it falsely surface that the buyer had gained a dose of vaccine. He additional built entries in the Immunization Databases falsely indicating that the buyer experienced been vaccinated.”
Liu was billed in October by federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., for getting into the Capitol grounds during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot, and other crimes related to the invasion of the halls of Congress that day by a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump. The legal grievance consists of images of him in and all-around the Capitol that working day.