A Midvale plastic surgeon and his business have been indicted and accused of selling COVID-19 vaccination cards to people who didn’t want the vaccine and dumping vaccines down the drain. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)
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MIDVALE — A Utah plastic surgeon and his associates are facing federal charges accusing them of throwing away COVID-19 vaccinations but still handing out COVID-19 vaccination cards to those who paid.
Michael Kirk Moore, Jr., his business Plastic Surgery Institute of Utah, Kari Dee Burgoyne, Kristin Jackson Andersen and Sanda Flores were indicted by a federal grand jury on Jan. 11 on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to convert, sell, convey and dispose of government property, and aiding and abetting in the conversation, sale, conveyance and disposal of government property. The indictment was unsealed on Tuesday.
Moore and his business “destroyed hundreds of doses of government-provided COVID-19 vaccines, and in exchange for either direct cash payments or required ‘donations’ to a specified charitable organization, defendants distributed COVID-19 vaccination record cards to persons without administering a COVID-19 vaccine to them,” according to charging documents.
Additionally, the business gave saline shots to children in order “to trick them into thinking they had received a vaccine,” the charges state.
Plastic Surgery Institute is in Midvale at 7535 Union Park Ave. Prosecutors say Moore is a board-certified plastic surgeon who owns and operates the business, but he is also a member of what they describe in court documents as “Organization 1, a private organization seeking to ‘liberate’ the medical profession from government and industry conflicts of interest.”
From approximately May 12, 2021, through Sept. 6, 2022, Moore and his business “ordered hundreds of doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)” allegedly to be distributed to clients, the charges state. By Oct. 15, 2021, Moore and others began telling people they could get a vaccination card from them without actually having to receive a shot in exchange for $50, prosecutors say.
Moore and Burgoyne — Moore’s office manager — even set up a screening process for people wanting the forged vaccination cards, the charges state, and put Andersen — Moore’s neighbor and also a member of “Organization 1” — in charge of it. Court documents refer to those purportedly receiving the vaccine cards as “fraudulent vax card seekers”
“Andersen would then screen the purported fraudulent vax card seekers by requiring them to provide her with the name of another fraudulent vax card seeker who had already received a COVID-19 vaccination record card from the Plastic Surgery Institute without actually receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.”
Each person seeking a vaccination card then made a $50 “donation,” which prosecutors say “were made to a ‘charitable organization’ linked to Organization 1.” The “patients” were then required to schedule an appointment with Plastic Surgery Institute of Utah to pick up their cards. Employees would fill out and stamp the cards during the scheduled appointments.
Prosecutors say 1,937 doses of the COVID-19 vaccination, worth a little more than $28,000, were supposed to be given to patients between Oct. 15, 2021, and Sept. 6, 2022, “when, in fact, they had received none.” The defendants would then take the real vaccine doses and dispose of them by “squirting them down the drain from a syringe,” the charges allege.
In March, an undercover agent made an appointment with the Plastic Surgery Institute to get a fake vaccination card by claiming he had a referral from a person who had already done the same thing, according to the charges. When the agent was able to provide the name of a person who had received the card, an appointment was made. A second undercover agent did the same thing in May, court records state.