Couple Arrested, Charged With Using Fake Vax Cards To Go To Buffalo Bills Game

Couple Arrested, Charged With Using Fake Vax Cards To Go To Buffalo Bills Game

A New York couple has been arrested and charged with using fake vaccination cards to gain entry to a Buffalo Bills NFL playoff game.

Michael Naab, 34, and Amber Naab, 37, were arrested after they attended the Bills Jan. 15 wild card game against the New England Patriots at Highmark Stadium.

The duo managed to get into the game, but later during the third quarter of Buffalo’s blowout 47-17 win over the Patriots, the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and team officials approached the couple in their seats and brought them in for questioning, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said Wednesday at a press conference.

Their vaccination cards were falsified, according to prosecutors. The district attorney said the couple obtained blank Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine cards and filled in their names and dates of birth. They also penned in a fake Pfizer lot number and put down that they were vaccinated at a CVS pharmacy location.

The Bills require all attendees of their home games ages 12 and older to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19. That policy has been in effect since Oct. 31.

The couple had been on the Bills’ radar before the game, the district attorney said, because they had allegedly posted on social media about getting into several earlier games using fake vaccine cards.

The Buffalo Bills opted to press charges against the couple.

The Naabs were both charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument, a class D felony that can result in a maximum prison sentence of seven years.

They were arraigned Tuesday evening in Orchard Park Town Court and released on their own recognizance.

The couple is set to appear in court again on Feb. 22.

“I readily admit this is not the crime of the century,” Flynn said. “I hate to be the guy that says ‘I need to send a message.’ I don’t like being that guy, but you can’t do this. There’s a law, we got laws on the books.”

“It’s a slap in the face to the 70,000 others who did the right thing,” the district attorney said.

Flynn added that while the Naabs will likely not serve jail time, he will go through with prosecuting them.

New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law in December that criminalized faking a COVID-19 vaccination card.

“Individuals who misrepresent their vaccination history, not only jeopardize their own health, but the health of all those they come into contact with. This legislation ensures that as New York opens up and many businesses choose to rely on checking vaccination status, the falsification of vaccination records will not be tolerated,” Hochul’s office said in announcing the law.

Since vaccine cards became mandatory for many activities in some cities such as indoor dining and entertainment, fake vaccine cards have proliferated and become an issue for authorities trying to enforce the strict local COVID measures.

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