COVID-19: NY Couple Facing Felony Charges For Allegedly Entering Game With Fake Vaccine Card

Originally published in The Nassau Daily Voice

A man and woman from New York are facing felony charges after authorities said they both presented fake COVID-19 vaccination cards to attend a Buffalo Bills game.

Michael Naab, age 34, and 37-year-old Amber Naab, both of West Seneca, were arraigned on Tuesday, Jan. 25, and each charged with one count of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, which is a Class D felony, the Erie County District Attorney John Flynn announced.

The couple is accused of presenting fake cards to attend the game on Saturday, Jan. 15, at Highmark Stadium.

Flynn told The Buffalo News that the Bills received a tip about the Naabs, who were on the county health department's "radar" due to previous social media activity, and they were both questioned and kicked out during the game. 

Flynn said this is the first such case to be prosecuted in the county after the passage of the "Truth in Vaccination" legislation that went into effect after it was signed into law by Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday, Dec. 22.

“This legislation specifically states that a vaccination card is a written instrument, which makes it clear that presenting a fake vaccine card, with the intent to defraud another person or entity, is a crime," Flynn said. "I am committed to keeping the residents of Erie County safe, which includes upholding laws related to public health. These two defendants are accused of using a fake vaccine card to intentionally violate the rules at the stadium, potentially putting the health of other fans at risk. As I have stated before, if you present a fake vaccine card, you will be prosecuted."

The case was investigated through the work of the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, Erie County Department of Health, New York State Department of Health and the Buffalo Bills, Flynn said. 

The Naabs are both scheduled to return for a felony hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 22.

They were released on their own recognizance.

The Truth in Vaccination Law was written and passed by Senator Anna M. Kaplan.