BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A Cheektowaga woman is facing a charge for allegedly selling fake COVID-19 vaccine cards to an undercover New York State trooper.
The Erie County District Attorney's Office announced 24-year-old Kaiyah S. Heinrich appeared in Cheektowaga Town Court Monday for a felony hearing. She was arraigned in Clarence Town Court on March 11 and charged with one count of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree and her felony hearing Monday was adjourned.
Heinrich was allegedly selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards through her Facebook account and an investigation began after the New York State Department of Health received a tip. Heinrich is accused of selling two fake COVID-19 vaccination cards to an undercover New York State trooper on March 10.
The district attorney's office said this is the second case to be prosecuted in Erie County under the state's “Truth in Vaccination” law. The first case involved a West Seneca couple accused of using fake COVID-19 vaccine cards to enter Highmark Stadium for a Buffalo Bills game which remains pending in Orchard Park Town Court.
I have issued several warnings to inform the public that the use of a fake vaccine card with the intent to defraud another person or entity is a crime in New York State. This defendant is accused of knowingly and intentionally selling falsified vaccination cards to others and profiting from their misuse. I am committed to keeping the residents of Erie County safe, which includes upholding laws related to public health. If you are caught using or selling these fake vaccine cards, you will be prosecuted.
Heinrich is scheduled to return on May 17 for a felony hearing and remains released on her own recognizance as the charge is a non-qualifying offense for bail. She faces a maximum of seven years in prison.