A head healthcare worker in South Carolina may face more than a decade in prison if convicted of charges from a grand jury that she created fraudulent coronavirus vaccine cards.
The office of Acting U.S. Attorney M. Rhett DeHart said Thursday a federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment against Tammy McDonald, 53, of Columbia, WLTX reported.
There were two counts of producing fraudulent vaccination record cards and one count of lying to federal investigators.
“Although the indictment speaks for itself, creating fraudulent or fake vaccine cards for those who have not been vaccinated poses a direct threat to the health of the people of South Carolina,” DeHart said in a statement.
Nursing Director Indicted for Producing Fraudulent COVID Vaccine Cardshttps://t.co/zORQnPWZgr
— U.S. Attorney SC (@USAO_SC) December 3, 2021
McDonald, who was described in the statement as “the Director of Nursing Services at a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center in Columbia,” pleaded not guilty to the charges.
But prosecutors claimed she produced the fraudulent cards on June 20 and July 28.
The attorney’s office press release continued:
The indictment further alleges that on October 22, 2021, McDonald was questioned by federal agents with HHS and FBI and lied by stating she did not have access to COVID-19 Vaccination Record Cards and that she never produced a false or inaccurate vaccine card. The indictment alleges this was false because she had personally filled out vaccine cards for individuals she knew had not received a COVID-19 vaccine.
If she is convicted, McDonald could face up to 15 years behind bars for each count of making the fraudulent cards and five years in prison for lying to investigators.
“Producing fraudulent vaccination cards is a serious matter and is not taken lightly,” Susan Ferensic, the special agent in charge of the FBI Columbia Field Office, stated. “Anyone leading or participating in this type of activity should know there will be consequences.”
Meanwhile, the import and sale of fake coronavirus vaccination cards were on the rise in the United States, NBC News reported in September:
“The big bundles that are being intercepted in the mail, those are coming from China, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection representative I spoke with yesterday,” reporter Kevin Collier said at the time.
“Domestically, they are much harder to trace. A lot of people could do this at home with a printer,” he added.