D.A. Vance Announces Takedown of Fake COVID-19 Vaccination Card Conspiracy


August 31, 2021

Defendant Jasmine Clifford Advertised, Sold Fake CDC Vaccination Cards via Instagram, Charged Extra for Defendant Nadayza Barkley to Enter Buyers in New York State Database

13 Individuals Who Purchased Fake Cards Also Charged

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today filed charges in Manhattan Criminal Court against fifteen individuals involved in a fake COVID-19 vaccination card conspiracy. As alleged, JASMINE CLIFFORD, 31, sold approximately 250 forged COVID-19 vaccination cards over Instagram, and worked with NADAYZA BARKLEY, 27, to fraudulently enter at least 10 individuals into the New York State Immunization Information System (“NYSIIS”) database. CLIFFORD and BARKLEY are charged in a Criminal Court complaint with Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, and Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree. CLIFFORD is additionally charged with Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree. Thirteen individuals who purchased the cards — all of whom are believed to work in frontline and essential-employee settings, including hospitals and nursing homes – were also charged.
 
“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,” said District Attorney Vance. “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. This investigation is ongoing. If you are aware of anyone selling fake vaccination cards, please call my Office’s Financial Frauds Bureau at 212-335-8900.”
 
According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, beginning in May 2021, CLIFFORD, a self-described entrepreneur with several online businesses, advertised forged Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 vaccination cards through her Instagram account, @AntiVaxMomma. In a typical transaction, CLIFFORD charged $200 for the falsified cards and accepted payment through CashApp or Zelle. For an additional $250 fee, co-conspirator BARKLEY, who works at a medical clinic in Patchogue, New York, would enter the individual’s name into the NYSIIS database as having received COVID-19 vaccinations. NYSIIS serves as a central repository for vaccinations within the state and feeds data into New York State’s Excelsior Pass. In total, CLIFFORD sold approximately 250 forged COVID-19 vaccination cards, and worked with BARKLEY to fraudulently enter at least 10 individuals into the NYSIIS database.
 
The Manhattan D.A.’s Office determined that among the individuals who purchased fake vaccination cards, 13 work in public-facing or other essential-employee settings – including hospitals, medical and nursing schools, and nursing homes – based on representations that the defendants made to CLIFFORD in Instagram messages, and additional investigative steps, such as searches of New York State professional licensing databases. Those 13 individuals are each charged with one count each of Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree and Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree. One of the individuals is also charged with Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree for paying to be entered in the NYSIIS database.
 
Assistant D.A. Catherine McCaw (Senior Investigative Counsel) is handling the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Assistant D.A.s Ryan Gee (Deputy Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau), Hope Korenstein (Deputy Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau), Kofi Sansculotte (Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau), and Gloria Garcia (Deputy Chief of the Investigation Division); and Executive Assistant D.A. Christopher Conroy (Chief of the Investigation Division). Assistant D.A.s Taylor Holland, Tavish DeAtley, and Bradley Barbour; Supervising Rackets Investigator Gregory Dunlavey; Rackets Investigator George Bishai; and Investigative Analyst Ethan Ellsworth assisted with the investigation.
 
District Attorney Vance thanked Joseph Giovanetti and Nakiesha Henry of the New York State Department of Health, and Investigator Thomas Karasinski and Senior Investigator John Bode of the New York State Police.
 
Defendant Information
 
JASMINE CLIFFORD
Lyndhurst, NJ
 
Charges:

  • Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a class D felony, one count
  • Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, a class A misdemeanor, one count
 
NADAYZA BARKLEY
Bellport, NY
 
Charges:
  • Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, a class A misdemeanor, one count