Covid-19 Vaccines: Wait Your Turn or Face Criminal Charges
Recently in Tampa, Florida, an emergency medical technician recently honored as “paramedic of the year” was arrested and charged with forgery, uttering a false instrument, falsifying a public record, creating a fictitious person, and criminal use of personal identification. Those are all felony crimes, and the defendant lied about spoiled Covid-19 vaccines when he actually stole vials. He was also charged with additional misdemeanors. The charging documents state that Colon, the defendant, was told to steal 3 vials of the Covid-19 vaccine for a local fire chief’s elderly mother. Colon had access to the vaccines in order to inoculate members of a local fire company. When Colon initially protested to doing so, the fire chief threatened to report Colon for profiting off the vaccine distribution.
This is not the first criminal case originating from Covid-19 vaccine distribution. A couple was recently arrested for flying to a remote Canadian town attempting to wrongfully obtain vaccines for themselves, and in Washington state, a rogue inoculator was arrested for “vaccinating” people with misbranded drugs they believed to be the Covid-19 vaccine. These crimes are extremely heinous and the federal government intends to prosecute defendants to the fullest extent of the law. While it can be burdensome waiting for registration and distribution of vaccines, illegally obtaining one, purporting to help someone to obtain vaccines illegally or lying to get vaccinated is criminal behavior. If you were charged with any criminal activity, contact Attorney Bryant Scriven to review your case.
What is Forgery & Criminal Use of Personal Identifiable Information (PII)
Florida statutes define forgery as falsifying or counterfeiting a public record. The record could be used in exchange for money, goods or property or would be used to defraud another person or entity. It is a third degree felony which carries a penalty of up to five years in prison. When Colon falsified the public record and documents regarding distribution and inoculation of Covid-19 vaccines, he allegedly committed forgery. Because the vaccine distribution is a federal operation with coordinated assistance from the states, he is facing federal and state criminal charges.
Forging another person’s name on a legal document, passport application, check, money order or other written instrument is a crime. Often defendants are charged with forgery if they tried to impersonate another person or pass a check or monetary instrument off purporting to be signed by another person or deemed valid, in an attempt to defraud another. Criminal use of PII, personal identifiable information, is defined in the Florida statutes as using another person’s name, birthdate, phone number, address, or any other unique personally identifiable information without their consent or knowledge, usually for a fraudulent purpose or in an attempt for a defendant to purport themselves as someone else.
For example, actions like using a stolen license to obtain alcohol illegally, using someone’s bank account information obtained illegally to make a purchase, or in this case, using another person’s name, address and contact information without their consent to make it appear that person received a Covid-19 vaccination are all criminal uses of PII.
Call Attorney Scriven Today
If you or someone you know were recently arrested and are in urgent need of legal representation, contact Attorney Bryant Scriven today. As a former prosecutor, Mr. Scriven maintains a unique perspective on criminal defense and is experienced with both federal and state crimes, including property crimes. Given the current environment we are all in, some people act out in desperation, and others are manipulated into committing crimes. In the case highlighted, unfortunately the paramedic was blackmailed into committing several offenses all to vaccinate an elderly acquaintance. Unfortunately, the government has no leniency for a sympathetic story and without a strong defense, defendants can be convicted and serve serious time. If you were charged with a crime, call Tampa criminal attorney Scriven today and schedule a free consultation.