Two women have been accused of selling fake covid-19 vaccination cards through an Instagram account and of entering customer names in the New York State vaccination database, prosecutors announced today.
Manhattan Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has accused Jasmine Clifford, 31, of Lyndhurst, NJ, and Nadayza Barkley, 27, of Bellport, NY, of offering a false instrument, a felony, and conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor.
Barkley’s attorney, Glenn Hardy, said his client pleads her innocence and believes she will be exonerated after a full investigation. Clifford’s attorney was not immediately reached for comment.
Vance also accused 13 health professionals at hospitals, nursing homes and nursing schools of possessing a fake instrument, accusing them of buying Clifford’s cards. Barkley is accused of putting the names of some of them into the state database.
Demand for Covid-19 vaccination cards has increased in recent months, as more local and state governments, schools and businesses require employees and students to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Vaccines are widely available and free in the United States, where millions of people are choosing not to get the vaccine and immunization rates lag behind other developed countries.
Vance said social media companies like Facebook, which owns Instagram, need to prevent fraud on their platforms.