A Utah plastic surgeon and three associates have been charged lately with promoting pretend Covid-19 vaccine playing cards for $50 apiece in a scheme that lasted greater than a yr, and through which they destroyed greater than $28,000 price of the vaccine doses, in line with federal prosecutors.
Dr. Michael Kirk Moore Jr., a board-certified plastic surgeon within the Salt Lake Metropolis space, bought tons of of playing cards falsely claiming to be proof of vaccination in change for money funds or donations to an unspecified charity, the U.S. legal professional’s workplace in Utah stated. Below the scheme, Dr. Moore and his associates then destroyed the government-issued vaccines, prosecutors stated, noting that many youngster sufferers got saline photographs as a substitute of vaccine doses at their dad and mom’ request.
Dr. Moore and his colleagues bought sufficient of the falsified vaccine playing cards to equal 1,937 doses of the vaccine, in line with charging paperwork, which say that the scheme lasted from Could 2021 to September 2022.
Dr. Moore and three others — Kari Dee Burgoyne, his workplace supervisor; Sandra Flores, a receptionist in his workplace; and Kristin Jackson Andersen, his neighbor — have been every indicted on Jan. 11 on a cost of conspiracy to defraud the USA, and two different expenses.
Based on the indictment, Dr. Moore was a member of a non-public group that aimed to “liberate” the medical career from authorities and medical business intervention.
“By allegedly falsifying vaccine playing cards and administering saline photographs to youngsters as a substitute of Covid-19 vaccines, not solely did this supplier endanger the well being and well-being of a susceptible inhabitants, but additionally undermined public belief and the integrity of federal well being care applications,” Curt L. Muller, particular agent in cost with the Division of Well being and Human Companies, Workplace of the Inspector Basic, stated in an announcement final week.
Reached by telephone on Tuesday, a person who recognized himself as Dr. Moore hung up. Ms. Burgoyne declined to remark. Neither Ms. Flores nor Ms. Andersen instantly responded to requests for remark.
Within the final three years, dozens of individuals have been prosecuted for Covid-19 vaccine fraud. Circumstances have included ones involving two nurses on Lengthy Island who have been charged with forgery in January 2022 after incomes greater than $1.5 million from gross sales of falsified proofs of vaccination, and a New Jersey mom who was accused in August 2021 of promoting greater than 250 pretend vaccine playing cards on Instagram.
Within the present case involving Dr. Moore and his associates, prosecutors intend to hunt the forfeiture of the remaining vaccine playing cards and photographs of their possession, and to have them pay a judgment of roughly $125,000.
The web site for Dr. Moore’s cosmetic surgery apply notes his certifications with each the Utah Division of Occupational and Skilled Licensing in addition to the Idaho Board of Medical Examiners. His medical licenses with these two authorities have been listed as energetic on Tuesday, in line with the places of work’ web sites. A consultant for the American Board of Plastic Surgeons stated that Dr. Moore had maintained his certification with the board.