A California woman has been charged with giving patients unapproved natural medicine pills she claimed would immunize them against Covid-19 and then falsifying vaccine cards to say they had received authorized Moderna shots, federal prosecutors said.
Investigators with the Department of Health and Human Services said they determined that Juli Mazi, 41, a licensed naturopath who operated out of Napa, Calif., told patients that the three vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use by the FDA contained “toxic ingredients,” and instead offered them homeoprophylaxis immunization pellets.
The pills purportedly contained a small amount of the virus that causes COVID-19, which Mazi told patients would “automatically flag the immune system’s attention,” and provide lifelong immunity, investigators said. They say she told patients the pills could be safely given to children and babies. FDA-authorized vaccines haven’t yet been approved for children under the age of 12.
‘Juli Mazi profited from unlawfully peddling unapproved remedies, stirring up false fears, and generating fake proof of vaccinations.’
— Stephanie Hinds, acting U.S. Attorney for the northern district of California
Mazi then provided official vaccination cards from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with instructions on how to fill them out to falsely reflect the patients had received Moderna
vaccines, complete with bogus lot numbers, prosecutors said. A message sent to Moderna seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned.
Authorities said Mazi’s case marked the first federal criminal fraud prosecution related to such activity.
On her website, Mazi says she earned a doctorate in naturopathic medicine from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. She has been licensed as a naturopathic doctor in California since 2012, according the state’s department of consumer affairs.
In a call with a patient that was monitored by investigators, Mazi allegedly admitted that the fabrication of the cards “was more than an ethical stretch,” according to the criminal complaint.
“Instead of disseminating valid remedies and information, Juli Mazi profited from unlawfully peddling unapproved remedies, stirring up false fears, and generating fake proof of vaccinations,” said Stephanie Hinds, acting U.S. Attorney for the northern district of California.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether Mazi had retained a lawyer and a message left at her Napa office wasn’t immediately returned.
Prosecutors say Mazi also provided similar unapproved vaccination pills and false documentation for children to meet their immunization requirements at California schools.
Investigators say they were tipped off to Mazi’s activities in April when a person submitted a complaint to the Department of Health and Human Services saying that family members had received the unapproved pills and forged vaccination cards from Mazi.
“This doctor violated the all-important trust the public extends to healthcare professionals — at a time when integrity is needed the most,” said Special Agent in Charge Steven Ryan of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.