BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A West Seneca couple is accused of using fake COVID-19 vaccine cards to enter Highmark Stadium for a Buffalo Bills game.
The Erie County District Attorney's Office announced 34-year-old Michael Naab and 37-year-old Amber Naab were arraigned Monday in Orchard Park Town Court. Both are charged with one count of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree, a class “D” felony.
According to the district attorney's office, they are accused of intentionally presenting falsified COVID-19 vaccine cards at Highmark Stadium for the Buffalo Bills game on January 15 in violation of the vaccination policy.
In December, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law that made falsification of COVID-19 vaccination records a crime.
"Individuals who misrepresent their vaccination history, not only jeopardize their own health, but the health of all those they come into contact with. This legislation ensures that as New York opens up and many businesses choose to rely on checking vaccination status, the falsification of vaccination records will not be tolerated," the governor said in December.
The district attorney's office said this is the first case to be prosecuted in Erie County following the passage of that bill.
This legislation makes it clear that presenting a fake vaccine card, with the intent to defraud another person or entity, is a crime. I am committed to keeping the residents of Erie County safe, which includes upholding laws related to public health. These two defendants are accused of using a fake vaccine card to intentionally violate the rules at the stadium, potentially putting the health of other fans at risk. As I have stated before, if you present a fake vaccine card, you will be prosecuted.
Michael Naab and Amber Naab are scheduled to return February 22 at 5:00 p.m. for a felony hearing and were released on their own recognizance as the charge is a non-qualifying for bail. If convicted of the charge, they face a maximum of 7 years in prison.