Woman Accused Of Selling Fake Vaccine Cards Under "AntiVaxMomma" Instagram Handle
A woman allegedly sold several hundred fake Covid-19 vaccination cards for $200 each before being caught and charged earlier this week.
While most moms use Instagram to share snaps of their kids, a New Jersey woman using the name “AntiVaxMomma” allegedly used the social media network to sell hundreds of fake Covid-19 vaccination cards. Criminal charges have been filed against the woman as well as an alleged co-conspirator and at least 13 individuals alleged to have purchased fake vaccination cards through the “AntiVaxMomma” Instagram account, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
Jasmine Clifford of Lyndhurst, New Jersey, is alleged to have advertised and sold roughly 250 forged Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Covid-19 vaccination cards through the Instagram account known as @AntiVaxMomma. According to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Clifford typically charged $200 for each forged card and accepted payments through CashApp and Zelle.
For an additional fee of $250, Clifford is alleged to have had her alleged co-conspirator Nadayza Barkley of Bellport, New York, use her job at a medical clinic to enter an individual’s name into the state’s official immunization database, effectively enabling them to obtain a state-certified digital proof of Covid-19 vaccination. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has alleged that at least 10 individuals’ names were fraudulently entered into the database by Barkley.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. has charged Clifford and Barkley with Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree and Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree. Clifford has also been charged with Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree. Another 13 individuals, all alleged to be frontline or essential employees working in hospitals, nursing homes, or medical and nursing schools who purchased forged cards from Clifford, have also been charged with one count each of Conspiracy and Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument, according to the district attorney’s office.
In August, U.S Customs and Border Protection officials at the port of Memphis reported seizing more than 3,000 fake Covid-19 vaccination cards in 2021. More recently, a number of people traveling to Hawaii, which requires proof of vaccination to avoid a 10-day quarantine, have been arrested for allegedly submitting forged or fake Covid-19 vaccine cards. In one instance, two parents were arrested and charged after they allegedly submitted forged Covid-19 vaccine cards for themselves and their two children ages 4 and 5. Currently, only children age 12 and older are able to receive a Covid-19 vaccination.
But although Manhattan’s district attorney has managed to end one alleged fake Covid-19 vaccine card seller’s entrepreneurial enterprise, he has warned that “whack-a-mole” prosecutions are unlikely to catch everyone in a timely manner. Instead, he called on social media companies to help prevent forgers from using their platforms to sell falsified vaccine cards.
“We will continue to safeguard public health in New York with proactive investigations like these, but the stakes are too high to tackle fake vaccination cards with whack-a-mole prosecutions,” Vance said in a statement released earlier this week. “We need companies like Facebook to take action to prevent the fraud happening on their platforms. Making, selling, and purchasing forged vaccination cards are serious crimes with serious public safety consequences.”