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Press Release

Woman Pleads Guilty to COVID-19 Vaccine Card Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A New York woman pleaded guilty today to fraudulently destroying over 2,600 COVID-19 vaccines and issuing a corresponding number of fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination record cards.

According to court documents, Kathleen Breault, 66, of Cambridge, a midwife at Sage-Femme Midwifery PLLC (Safe-Femme), an authorized COVID-19 vaccine administration site in Albany, New York, conspired to obstruct the government’s distribution of COVID-19 vaccines by providing COVID-19 vaccination record cards to individuals who were not vaccinated, including to minors who were at the time ineligible to be vaccinated and to Canadian citizens who were not present in the United States when they were purportedly vaccinated. In addition to destroying COVID-19 vaccines and issuing fraudulent vaccination record cards, Breault and her co-conspirators made over 2,600 false entries into a New York State database that tracked COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Breault 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 Sept. 18 and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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 made the announcement.

The FBI is investigating the case, with assistance from the New York State Department of Health.

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 health care fraud through the Health Care Fraud Strike Force Program. Since March 2007, this program, currently comprised of nine strike forces operating in 27 federal districts, has charged more than 5,400 defendants who collectively have billed federal health care programs and private insurers more than $27 billion. In addition, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, are taking steps to hold providers accountable for their involvement in health care fraud schemes. More information can be found at www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/health-care-fraud-unit.

Updated June 17, 2024

Topics
Coronavirus
Health Care Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-772