A Utah plastic surgeon, along with three others, is facing charges for allegedly administering fake COVID-19 vaccines to children, destroying vaccines, and distributing falsified vaccine cards.
Dr. Michael Kirk Moore, the owner of the Plastic Surgery Institute of Utah in Midvale, has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to court documents (pdf).
Moore’s office manager Kari Burgoyne, receptionist Sandra Flores, neighbour Kristin Andersen, and the Plastic Surgery Institute are also charged in the case.
The defendants are accused of running a vaccine scheme out of the physician’s business.
Moore and Andersen were allegedly members of a “private organization seeking to ‘liberate’ the medical profession from government and industry conflicts of interest,” the documents state.
In May 2021, Moore signed an agreement with the CDC to administer COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination cards. Court documents claim that Moore and Burgoyne then ordered “hundreds of doses of COVID-19 vaccines,” which they began receiving at the plastic surgery centre in October 2021.
Working the plan
After receiving the vaccine doses, the doctor and three others started notifying “fraudulent vax card seekers” that they could “receive fraudulently completed COVID-19 Vaccination Record Cards from the Plastic Surgery Institute without having to receive a COVID-19 vaccine,” the documents state.
Those seeking fraudulent vaccination cards were required to pay $50 cash or make a $50 donation to Moore and Andersen’s private organization.
Burgoyne allegedly managed the “day-to-day logistics of the scheme,” while Andersen handled the screening process. Once a person was successfully screened and had made their $50 payment, Andersen would send them forms to complete.
“Flores and other employees would then provide the Fraudulent Vax Card Seekers with the completed COVID-19 Vaccine Record Cards without administering any COVID-19 vaccine to them,” the document reads.
The group also gave fake vaccines to children when requested by the minors’ parents.
“Dr. Moore, Burgoyne, and Flores also arranged, at times, to administer or have others administer saline shots to minor children at the request of their parents so that the minor children would think they were actually receiving a COVID-19 vaccine,” according to the document.
The names of the fraudulent vaccination card seekers were uploaded to the Utah Statewide Immunization Information System.
Between Oct. 15, 2021, and Sept. 6, 2022, the Plastic Surgery Institute allegedly received about 2,200 doses of the vaccine and destroyed nearly 2,000 of them at a value of more than $28,000. The doses were destroyed “usually by drawing them from the bottle and then squirting them down the drain from a syringe.”
At least 1,937 fraudulent vaccination cards were allegedly sold at $50 each for a total of $96,850. The vaccination cards and the vaccine doses amounted to a combined value of nearly $125,000.
The scheme fell apart when an undercover agent managed to complete the “referral only” process and acquire a fake vaccination card.
A second agent went through the process and then asked Flores if his children could also receive a similar vaccine record card.
Flores “wrote on a Post-it note that ‘with 18 & younger, we do a saline shot,’ indicating that minors could receive saline shots and obtain the cards without receiving the vaccine,” the court papers say.