SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Two people were sentenced as part of a COVID-19 fraud scheme.
Dino A. Rende, 19, of Los Angeles, California, and Francis J. Rende II, 29, of La Mesa, California, were both sentenced to 36 months of probation after they admitted to planning to sell stolen COVID vaccination cards.
Officials also said Francis Rende II stole at least 20 CDC Vaccination Record Cards in March of 2021 before sending them over to his brother.
The two brothers operated the scheme between March and August of 2021, planning to sell the cards to several buyers for $50 a piece.
The pair were also required to pay $500 in restitution.
This scheme was similar to that reportedly operated by a Salt Lake County woman, who sold counterfeit negative COVID-19 vaccine cards to travelers at Salt Lake City International Airport.
Linda Tufui Toli has been charged with one count of wire fraud for allegedly selling counterfeit negative COVID-19 tests to travelers through her former job XpresCheck at the airport, charging documents state.
Officials say Toli intercepted calls from travelers seeking to schedule COVID-testing services from XpresCheck in order to travel to Hawaii, Israel, or other destinations. She would cancel their appointments with XpresCheck for preflight testing — falsely telling travelers that they only needed a letter from XpresCheck to travel to their destination and that they could upload the letter to Hawaii (or another destination’s) website.