Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Monday, May 27, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

California doctor pleads guilty to selling fake Covid-19 vaccines

Juli Mazi, a Napa-based naturopathic doctor, faces up to 25 years in prison for charges of wire fraud and making false statements about health care issues.

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — A homeopathic doctor who hawked unapproved Covid-19 “immunization pellets” and doled out phony vaccination cards pleaded guilty to wire fraud and spreading false medical information Wednesday.

Juli Mazi, a 41-year-old Napa resident and state-licensed naturopathic doctor, was arrested in July last year for offering “homeoprophylaxis immunization pellets,” which she told customers contained trace amounts of the Covid-19 virus and would provide “lifelong immunity to Covid-19.”

Appearing via video link before U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, the natural-medicine doctor fessed up to making false claims about the pellets, including over electronic wires, and giving patients falsified vaccination cards.

“Juli Mazi has admitted that she engaged in a scheme to sell fake health care records to her customers,” U.S. Attorney Stephanie Hinds said in a statement.

Federal investigators first learned of Mazi’s alleged scheme to sell fake Covid-19 vaccines in April 2021 when a complaint was filed with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. The person who filed that complaint said Mazi sold pellets to their family members, claiming they would create an antibody response in their immune systems.

Mazi also gave patients Covid-19 vaccination cards that listed Moderna as the vaccine, even though they never received injections of the FDA-approved immunizations. She also told patients to falsely write on cards that they received the Moderna vaccine on the date they ingested her unapproved Covid-19 homeoprophylaxis immunization pellets.

Homeoprophylaxis involves exposing someone to dilute amounts of a disease, purportedly to stimulate the immune system and create immunity. Prosecutors say Mazi falsely claimed that orally ingesting pellets with small amounts of Covid-19 would result in full, lifelong immunity from the virus.

A criminal complaint filed against Mazi contains a photo of two allegedly falsified vaccination cards listing Moderna as the vaccine and “Dr. Juli Mazi” as the health care provider. The complaint also includes a photo of a document Mazi gave patients explaining how homoeprophylaxis works and instructing them to ingest two to four pellets each day over four days, spacing each of those days apart by at least 48 hours.

“Four total days of dosing are required, before lifelong immunity is considered achieved,” the document states.

In a recorded phone call with an unnamed person on June 2, Mazi said Covid-19 vaccination cards “ask for a manufacturer and lot number. So you know, I um even though it’s more than an ethical stretch that I’m happy about, I am just stepping up to the plate to offer these,” according to the complaint.

Mazi also told customers that children and babies could receive the same doses of the unapproved vaccination pellets. She charged one unnamed person $243 for the "immunizations."

Prosecutors analyzed Mazi’s financial records and found she received $221,800 from more than 1,000 transactions between January 2020 and May 2021. Most of the billing records didn't specify what each payment was for, but 25 were listed as payments for Covid-19 treatments. Those 25 payments added up to $7,653.

The government also accused Mazi of spreading misinformation about FDA-approved Covid-19 vaccines, which she said contained “toxic ingredients.”

“Instead of providing sage information and guidance, Mazi profited from peddling unapproved remedies, stirring up false fears, and generating fake proof of vaccinations,” Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite Jr. said in a statement. “The Department of Justice and its law enforcement partners are committed to protecting the American people during this national emergency, including protecting trust in the medical developments allowing us to emerge from the pandemic.”

Mazi also admitted to offering unapproved, natural-based immunizations for childhood illnesses and inaccurately claiming they would satisfy immunization requirements for California schools. She also fessed up to falsifying immunization cards submitted by parents to California schools.

Mazi faces a maximum 20 years in prison for wire fraud and five years for making false statements related to health care. Each charge also carries a maximum $250,000 penalty or a fine equal to twice the gain or loss of money that resulted from her conduct.

Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 29.

Mazi’s attorney Philip Schnayerson did not return an email requesting comment by press time.

Follow @NicholasIovino
Categories / Criminal, Health

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.