Federal prosecutors announced charges this week against a California woman who they said sold fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards and “immunization pellets” to patients.
Juli A. Mazi, a licensed homeopathic doctor in Napa Valley, was charged Wednesday with one count of wire fraud and one count of false statements related to health care matters. Hers represents the first federal case of fraud relating to fake COVID-19 inoculations and vaccination cards.
The 41-year-old is accused of telling people that the pellets contained COVID-19 virus and would trigger an immune response. Actual COVID-19 vaccines using mRNA work in a similar manner by teaching the body how to make antibodies to fight COVID-19, but they do not contain the full virus.
“This doctor violated the all-important trust the public extends to healthcare professionals ― at a time when integrity is needed the most,” Special Agent in Charge Steven Ryan of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General said in a statement.
On Thursday, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy warned of the danger of coronavirus-related misinformation, saying it “poison[s] our information environment.”
Along with the pellets, Mazi allegedly sent patients Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination cards that were already filled out with Moderna vaccine information — including a specific lot number — that instructed people to write in the date they took the fraudulent pills. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, she claimed the treatment would result in lifelong immunity from COVID-19.
She allegedly told her customers that the vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration contained “toxic ingredients.”
Mazi’s alleged scheme came to the attention of law enforcement back in April when an unnamed individual sent in a tip explaining that members of their family had purchased the treatment from the doctor in lieu of getting the real vaccine.
If convicted, she faces up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Mazi is also accused of helping parents circumvent other vaccination requirements for their children through a similar scheme involving fraudulent drugs that allegedly contained a diluted amount of certain viruses.
According to her website, Mazi received her education at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon, training in “traditional medical sciences as well as ancient and modern modalities that rely on the restorative power of Nature to heal.”
“Her very presence is healing,” her website claims.