NAPA, Calif. (KGO) -- A Napa doctor was arrested Wednesday on fraud-related charges after she allegedly sold fake COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination cards to patients, the Department of Justice announced.
Juli A. Mazi, a licensed homeopathic doctor, allegedly sold homeoprophylaxis immunization pellets that she said contained COVID-19. She allegedly told the victims that the immunization would create an antibody reaction in the immune system.
The Justice Department said Mazi then sent COVID-19 vaccination cards to the families and instructed them on how to fill out the cards as if they received Moderna doses.
"This defendant allegedly defrauded and endangered the public by preying on fears and spreading misinformation about FDA-authorized vaccinations, while also peddling fake treatments that put people's lives at risk. Even worse, the defendant allegedly created counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards and instructed her customers to falsely mark that they had received a vaccine, allowing them to circumvent efforts to contain the spread of the disease," Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco said in a statement.
According to the Justice Department, the woman also claimed her vaccinations would provide "lifelong immunity" to the virus.
"To encourage customers to purchase the pellets, Mazi allegedly exploited disinformation and fear by falsely claiming that the FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines contain 'toxic ingredients,'" officials said in a statement.
Court documents also allege the woman provided vaccines for childhood illnesses that she claimed would meet California's immunization requirements for schools. The Justice Department said she then provided fake vaccine cards to parents who submitted them to California schools.
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In April, someone submitted a complaint to the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General, saying their family member had purchased from the woman.
On Wednesday, a neighbor said he recognized Mazi's face in the news. Ethan Gladner told ABC7 News, "I'm not surprised something like this has happened. I'm actually surprised it took so long for something like this to be like coming out and somebody getting in trouble for it. If it happened, allegedly."
Mazi is now facing charges of wire fraud and making false statements relating to a health case.
The Justice Department says she could face a total of up to 25 years in prison for both charges.
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