A New York woman has pleaded guilty to charges related to a COVID-19 vaccine fraud scheme. Kathleen Breault, 66, of Cambridge, admitted to destroying over 2,600 COVID-19 vaccines and issuing an equivalent number of fraudulent vaccination record cards. Breault, a midwife at Sage-Femme Midwifery PLLC (Safe-Femme) in Albany, New York, an authorized COVID-19 vaccine administration site, participated in this scheme to obstruct the government’s vaccine distribution efforts.

Court documents reveal that Breault provided fraudulent vaccination cards to individuals who had not been vaccinated. This included minors who were ineligible for vaccination at the time and Canadian citizens who were not in the United States when the vaccines were purportedly administered. In addition to destroying the vaccines and issuing fake cards, Breault and her co-conspirators made over 2,600 false entries into a New York State database that tracked vaccine distribution. As part of her plea agreement, Breault has agreed to pay more than $37,000 in restitution for the destroyed vaccines.

Breault pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States and its departments and agencies. She is scheduled to be sentenced on September 18 and could face up to five years in prison. The final sentence will be determined by a federal district court judge, who will consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The announcement of Breault’s plea was made by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York; Assistant Director Michael Nordwall of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division; and Assistant Director in Charge James H. Smith III of the FBI New York Field Office.

The FBI, with assistance from the New York State Department of Health, is investigating the case. Trial Attorneys Patrick J. Campbell and Hyungjoo Han of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case. The Fraud Section leads the Criminal Division’s efforts to combat healthcare fraud through the Health Care Fraud Strike Force Program. Since its inception in March 2007, the program, which includes nine strike forces operating in 27 federal districts, has charged over 5,400 defendants who collectively have billed federal healthcare programs and private insurers more than $27 billion.

This article, “NY Woman Pleads Guilty to COVID-19 Vaccine Fraud Scheme” was first published on Small Business Trends

Source: Small Business Trends

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