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New York Nurse Guilty In COVID Vaccine Card Scam

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SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y. (SCDAO) – Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney announced that Julie DeVuono, 51, of Amityville and her corporation Kids-On-Call Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, P.C., doing business as Wild Child Pediatric Healthcare, pleaded guilty to forging COVID-19 Vaccination Record Cards for money together with her guilty plea to Money Laundering in the Second Degree for laundering those proceeds of the sales of the forged cards to benefit herself. DeVuono also pleaded guilty under a separate indictment to one count of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, after she had illegally obtained prescriptions for Oxycodone for herself in the name of relatives.

“This defendant used her position as a nurse practitioner to circumvent the law by uploading false information into New York state-wide databases,” said District Attorney Tierney. “The defendant’s abuse of authority preyed upon the fears and mistrust of the public during the COVID shutdown to forge COVID cards for the vaccine she never administered, in pursuit of no other purpose than her own enrichment.”

District Attorney Tierney thanked the Suffolk County Police Department District Attorney’s Squad for helping bring this case to a close, and he also thanked the agents and investigators from the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the New York State Department of Health for their help and assistance in this investigation.

According to the investigation and the defendant’s admissions during the guilty plea allocution, from June 15, 2021 to January 27, 2022, DeVuono, sold forged COVID-19 Vaccination Record Cards which stated that purported patients had received a vaccination and subsequently 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. DeVuono then laundered the proceeds from this criminal conduct by transferring funds through several accounts and conducting several transactions including paying off the mortgage on her Amityville home.

A subsequent District Attorney’s investigation uncovered a separate scheme by DeVuono, which revealed that between February 10, 2019 and August 14, 2021, DeVuono submitted false prescriptions for oxycodone to local pharmacies in Suffolk County that had false entries regarding the identities of individuals, none of whom were her actual patients, and some of whom were her relatives. Even though DeVuono knew these electronic prescriptions would be filed with the New York State Department of Health after they were submitted to the local pharmacies electronically, she obtained the oxycodone from these pharmacies and kept the controlled substances for herself.

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On September 15, 2023, DeVuono and her corporation, “Kids-On-Call Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, P.C.”, both pleaded guilty before Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable John B. Collins. DeVuono pleaded guilty to one count of Money Laundering in the Second Degree, a Class C felony, one count of Forgery in the Second Degree, a Class D felony, and one count of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a Class E felony.

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Kids-On-Call Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, P.C. pleaded guilty to one count of Money Laundering in the Second Degree, a Class C felony, and one count of Forgery in the Second Degree, a Class D felony.

As a result of DeVuono’s criminal conduct, she and the corporation have agreed to forfeit criminal proceeds totaling the sum of $1,252,540.63. The criminal proceeds include United States currency and bank account funds previously seized along with equity that DeVuono paid off on her Amityville home. DeVuono also surrendered her professional licenses as a Nurse Practitioner and a Registered Professional Nurse to the New York State Department of Education. She also surrendered her certificate of incorporation as a professional service corporation in New York State, which includes as a condition of her plea to immediately shut down her pediatric office Wild Child Pediatric Healthcare. She is no longer permitted to practice in the medical field in New York.

DeVuono is due back in court on November 17, 2023, when Justice Collins is expected to sentence her to six months of incarceration, with alcohol and narcotic conditions imposed, and with 840 hours as a community service alternative that will be completed during her probationary supervision term of five years. DeVuono will also pay a total of $15,000 in fines. Kids-On-Call Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, P.C. will be sentenced to three-year conditional discharges. Both defendants are being represented by Jason Russo, Esq. and Steven Gaitman, Esq.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys James Bartens and Adriana Noyola of the Financial Crimes Bureau, with investigative assistance from the Suffolk County Police Department’s District Attorney Squad, the New York State Department of Health, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The civil asset forfeiture action was litigated by Assistant District Attorney Joseph McCarthy Jr. of the Finance and Asset Forfeiture Bureau.

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