Former Head of Pharmacy at Adventist Health Hospital Charged in COVID-19 Scam
- Ranna Shamiya allegedly used her position as director of pharmacy at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley to identify legitimate lot numbers of COVID-19 vaccines.
- Shamiya then passed on the information to a naturopathic doctor who used the lot numbers to create and sell fraudulent vaccine cards.
- If convicted, Shamiya faces five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and a “$100 special assessment.”
27 April 2022 | The former director of pharmacy at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley in California, U.S., Ranna Shamiya, was charged recently for her alleged role in a COVID-19 scam, reported the Press-Democrat.
Shamiya, 41, allegedly helped Juli Mazi, a naturopathic doctor from Napa, California, U.S., in a scheme to offer fake cures for COVID-19 and produce counterfeit coronavirus vaccination cards, according to a statement by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on April 19, 2022.
Adam Istas, public information officer for Adventist Health Mendocino County, told the Press-Democrat that Adventist Health Ukiah Valley took immediate action and that by April 21, 2022, Shamiya was no longer an employee of the hospital.
“Obviously, it’s disappointing,” said Istas.
Mazi, the Napa-based naturopathic doctor, sold “homeoprophylaxis immunization pellets” she claimed would offer “lifelong immunity to COVID-19.” She lied to customers, telling them the pellets contained small amounts of the virus and would create an antibody response, reported the Press-Democrat. Mazi also sold blank, fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards that claimed customers had received a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, reported the San Francisco Chronicle.
Shamiya became aware of Mazi selling the counterfeit cards and pellets in May 2021 and got involved in the scam the next month, on June 18 and June 27, according to the Chronicle.
Shamiya allegedly used her access to controlled medical information as the director of pharmacy at Adventist Health Ukiah to identify legitimate lot numbers for FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines, said the DOJ statement.
She gave that information to Mazi, who then used the lot numbers to create fake COVID-19 vaccination cards that falsely appeared to reflect that Mazi’s customers received a COVID-19 vaccine with a real lot number, when they in fact did not receive such a vaccine.
Shamiya was charged with making false statements related to health care matters, and was one of 21 people named by the DOJ as allegedly involved in various COVID-19 scams.
If convicted, Shamiya faces five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and a “$100 special assessment,” reported the Chronicle.
Istas said that “at no point did this jeopardize our commitment to the safety of our patients. This is not a patient-facing charge [Shamiya is] accused of.”
(Photo: Ranna Shamiya, the former director of pharmacy at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley, allegedly used her position to identify legitimate lot numbers of COVID-19 vaccines, which she then passed on to another person who could then create and sell fraudulent vaccine cards. Photo by Mufid Majnun from Pixabay.)