A plastic surgeon in Utah and three colleagues are facing federal charges for a year-long scheme in which they allegedly shoved about 2,000 vaccine doses down the drain, sold fake vaccination cards for $50 each, and tricked children into thinking they had been vaccinated against COVID-19 by injecting them with a saline solution. Total 391 times.
Federal prosecutors last week indicted Dr. Michael Kirk Moore Jr., who owns and operates the Plastic Surgery Institute of Utah in Midvale, south of Salt Lake City, as well as business office manager Carrie de Burgoyne, receptionist Sandra Flores, and Moore’s neighbor Kristen Jackson. Andersen. All four are charged with conspiracy to defraud the federal government, along with two counts of improper disposal of government property.
to me indictment, which opened Jan. 17, Moore, Bourgoin, Flores, and Andersen created a scheme in which a plastic surgery practice becomes a legitimate COVID-19 vaccine provider. Moore signed the government’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement in May 2021, allowing the site to receive bona fide COVID-19 doses purchased by the government. Between October 15, 2021, and September 6, 2022, the group has ordered about 2,200 vaccine doses from the federal government.
Around October, the group began notifying people it knew were interested in fake COVID-19 vaccines, whom federal prosecutors called “fraudulent Vax card seekers.” Burgoyne, the office manager, was tasked with coordinating the scheme, which worked like this: if a fraudulent fax card requester contacted the practice, Burgoyne would have them call Andersen, Moore’s neighbour. Andersen then coyly screens the contacts by asking who referred them to the clinic, accepting only researchers who were referred by people who had already received a fraudulent vaccination card from the program. Andersen went through this screening process with two separate undercover agents.
Once vetted, Andersen instructs a student to make a “donation” of $50 per date per person via Venmo or PayPal, with the money going to an unnamed “charitable organization.” Federal prosecutors noted that the charity was associated with an organization to which Moore belonged, which sought to “liberate” the medical profession from conflicts of government and industry interest.
After the donation is made and confirmed with Andersen, the student makes an appointment with the Plastic Surgery Center. Upon their arrival, Flores, the receptionist, Burgoyne, or other staff members fraudulently filled out a COVID-19 vaccination card saying the student had been vaccinated. Meanwhile, the defendants were drawing COVID-19 doses from government-supplied vials, and “pushing them down the drain from a syringe,” the prosecution alleged. And this was unless, of course, the bogus vaccination of a minor.
Prosecutors note that for minors, the group will administer saline shots at the parents’ request so that the children believe they are being vaccinated against COVID-19. This was confirmed to an undercover agent, who asked about bringing his children, to which Flores responded by handing him a note saying “With ages 18 and under, we do saline injections.”
During the scheme, the group reported the names of all vaccine seekers to the Utah Statewide Immunization Information System, noting that the practice had administered 1,937 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, of which 391 included children. The total value of all doses was approximately $28,000. According to federal prosecutors, the total money from the $50 vaccination cards was nearly $97,000, and the program was valued at approximately $125,000.
“By allegedly falsifying vaccine cards and administering saline vaccines to children instead of COVID-19 vaccines, this provider has not only endangered the health and well-being of vulnerable populations, but also undermined the public trust and integrity of federal health care programs,” said Kurt Mueller, the special agent in charge. For the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, in Permit.
The defendants are scheduled to appear in court on January 26.