A homeopathic doctor licensed in California was arrested yesterday and charged with a scheme to sell homeoprophylaxis immunization pellets and to falsify COVID-19 vaccination cards by making it appear that her customers had received the Moderna vaccine, according to the US Department of Justice.
Juli A. Mazi, 41, of Napa, is charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of false statements related to healthcare matters. The case is the first federal criminal fraud prosecution related to homeoprophylaxis immunizations and fraudulent vaccination record cards, the DOJ said in a news release.
In April, according to federal authorities, an individual submitted a complaint to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, stating that family members had purchased the immunization pellets from Mazi. The complainant stated that the family members had told her/him that Mazi had said the pellets contained the COVID-19 virus and would create an antibody response in the immune system.
The affidavit noted that none of the family members had received injections of any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
However, the complainant said, Mazi sent COVID-19 vaccination cards listing Moderna to the complainant family. Mazi allegedly instructed the family members to mark the cards to falsely state that they had received the Moderna vaccine on the date that they ingested the homeoprophylaxis immunization pellets.
She also allegedly provided instructions on how to fraudulently complete the cards to make it appear that a customer had received two doses of the Moderna vaccine. She even supplied Moderna lot numbers to enter on the cards.
In addition, Mazi allegedly offered homeoprophylaxis immunizations for childhood illnesses that she falsely claimed would satisfy the immunization requirements for California schools, and falsified immunization cards that were submitted by parents to California schools.
Mazi further stated that her customers could provide the pellets to children for COVID-19 immunity, and that “the dose is actually the same for babies,” the news release said.
Mazi is alleged to have falsely claimed that ingesting the pellets would result in full life-long immunity from COVID-19. In addition, she exploited the disinformation and fear surrounding COVID-19 vaccination by falsely claiming that the FDA-authorized vaccines contain “toxic ingredients,” the DOJ said.
According to the DOJ, “Homeophrophylaxis involves the exposure of an individual to dilute amounts of a disease, purportedly to stimulate the immune system and confer immunity.”
According to Australia’s National Centre for Immunisation Research & Surveillance (NCIRS), a private organization funded by the Australian and New South Wales governments, there is no high-quality research showing that homeopathic preparations are effective in preventing infectious disease.
Typical homeopathic preparations dilute a disease, tissue, or plant extract in water “to the point where none of the original material is contained within the preparation by the end of the process,” an NCIRS fact sheet says.
Referring to Mazi, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said in the news release, “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.”
The case against Mazi was brought in coordination with the DOJ Health Care Fraud Unit’s COVID-19 Interagency Working Group, which organizes efforts to address illegal activity involving healthcare programs during the pandemic.
The fraud unit leads the department’s Health Care Fraud Strike Force, which has existed since 2007. In May, US Attorney General Merrick Garland established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force in partnership with other government agencies to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud.