Detroit Nurse Accused of Stealing Real COVID-19 Vaccination Cards to Sell on Facebook

A Detroit nurse has been arrested and accused of stealing COVID-19 vaccination cards from a hospital and selling them, primarily on Facebook.

According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Michigan, the woman was identified as 37-year-old Bethann Kierczak from Southgate, Michigan. Kierczak, who is a registered nurse, was arrested on Wednesday morning and charged with theft of government property and theft or embezzlement related to a healthcare benefit program.

The press release said that Kierczak is accused of stealing authentic COVID-19 vaccination cards from the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Michigan. The U.S. Attorney's office also accused Kierczak of allegedly stealing "vaccine lot numbers necessary to make the cards appear legitimate."

The U.S. Attorney's office said Kierczak then allegedly resold the cards, "primarily via Facebook Messenger," to residents throughout the Detroit metro community. According to the press release, Kierczak sold the cards for $150-$200 each.

A criminal complaint filed against Kierczak says that the alleged theft and sale of the COVID-19 vaccination cards began in May and continued until she was arrested on Wednesday.

The criminal complaint, which was provided to Newsweek, showed several conversations Kierczak had with a confidential source regarding the purchase of the stolen COVID-19 vaccine cards.

"On September 20, 2021, again acting under the direction of law enforcement, the CS [confidential source] placed a consensually monitored call to Kierczak to coordinate the purchase of the vaccination cards. During the conversation, Kierczak agreed to meet the CS at their residence to complete the transaction," the complaint said.

The press release also said that another man, identified as 32-year-old Rapheal Jarrell Smiley of Detroit was arrested and charged with "conducting an ongoing scheme to import and sell or otherwise distribute fraudulent COVID-19 Vaccination Record Cards." According to the press release, Smiley allegedly ordered the fraudulent COVID-19 vaccine cards from China.

"These arrests reflect our deep commitment to protecting the health of our community and preventing this dangerous fraud from affecting our most vulnerable citizens," Acting United States Attorney Saima S. Mohsin said in the press release.

"Regardless of whether an individual chooses to get vaccinated, we urge everyone to avoid turning to schemes like these to evade vaccination requirements," Mohsin continued. "Importing these cards is a crime. Selling these cards is a crime. We will continue to investigate these crimes and prosecute them accordingly."

Over the past few months, law enforcement agencies have continued to seize shipments of fraudulent COVID-19 vaccine cards as well as arresting those who sell them.

According to previous reports, after different COVID-19 vaccine mandates were enacted, the number of vendors selling fraudulent COVID-19 vaccine cards increased.

Newsweek was directed to the press release after reaching out to the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Michigan for comment.

COVID-19 Vaccine
A Detroit nurse was recently arrested and accused of stealing real COVID-19 vaccine cards and selling them on Facebook. Above, a healthcare worker fills out a COVID-19 vaccination card at a community healthcare event in a predominately Latino neighborhood in Los Angeles. Robyn Beck/Getty