3 Vermont State Soldiers Investigated Fake Vaccination Cards

Three Vermont state soldiers accused of being involved in a bogus Covid-19 vaccination card program have resigned as part of a federal i...


Three Vermont state soldiers accused of being involved in a bogus Covid-19 vaccination card program have resigned as part of a federal investigation, authorities said.

Soldiers Shawn Sommers, Raymond Witkowski and David Pfindel were believed to have “varying roles” in producing fake coronavirus vaccination cards, Vermont State Police noted in a press release Tuesday.

Mr. Sommers and Mr. Witkowski resigned on Aug. 10, a day after another soldier raised concerns with supervisors about their conduct, police said. Mr. Pfindel resigned on September 3 after an investigation by the state’s Public Security Department.

On Wednesday, it was not immediately clear whether the men had lawyers. The Vermont Troopers’ Association, an organization that represents Vermont state soldiers, detectives and police sergeants, did not immediately respond to comments Wednesday morning.

The investigation began after other soldiers reported details of the scheme to their supervisors. The details, which were not disclosed, were then “reported to federal law enforcement authorities,” police said.

“The charges in this case involve an extraordinary level of misconduct – a criminal violation of the law – and I could not be more upset and disappointed,” said Col. Matthew T. Birmingham, state police chief. from Vermont, in a statement. Release.

Michael Schirling, the Vermont public safety commissioner, said that “as soon as other soldiers became aware of this situation, they raised the allegations internally, and the commanders took swift and decisive action to keep these responsible persons and report this matter to federal authorities “.

State Police referred the case to the FBI and the United States Attorney’s Office in Burlington, Vermont. A spokesperson for the state attorney’s office said the case was referred to them, but declined to comment further on Wednesday.

State Police said due to an FBI investigation, police were unable to announce details until Tuesday, nearly a month after the first soldiers resigned, and that ‘she would not comment further due to the ongoing federal investigation.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been more than 29,300 coronavirus cases and at least 282 deaths reported in Vermont, according to a New York Times database, with a recent average of 161 cases per day. In August, Governor Phil Scott of Vermont announced that some state officials who work with vulnerable populations would be required to be vaccinated against Covid-19. At least 68 percent of the state’s population, including 77 percent of people aged 12 and older, have been fully immunized, according to a Times database.

As businesses and states reopen amid rising virus cases, many have demanded vaccination cards as proof that a person has been vaccinated against Covid-19 in the United States. Instead of getting the vaccine, some people have turned to tampering with this evidence. In March, the Office of the Inspector General of the Federal Department of Health and Human Services and the FBI released a public service announcement to warn the public that the sale of fake vaccination cards bearing the government logo is a crime.

In July, a homeopathic doctor in California became the first person to face federal charges for selling fake Covid-19 vaccination cards. And in May, the owner of a bar in California was arrested on charges that he had sold fake Covid-19 vaccination cards.

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Newsrust - US Top News: 3 Vermont State Soldiers Investigated Fake Vaccination Cards
3 Vermont State Soldiers Investigated Fake Vaccination Cards
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