A New York couple faces charges after allegedly posting on social media that they had attended a Buffalo Bills football game at Highmark Stadium on January 15 using fake Covid-19 vaccine cards, according to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office.
All guests age 12 and older are required to provide proof of vaccination for Covid-19 to enter the stadium, according to the Buffalo Bills website. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation on December 22 that criminalized the use of fake vaccine cards.
Amber Naab, 37, and Michael Naab, 34, each face a second-degree felony charge of criminal possession of a forged instrument, Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said in a news conference. The couple was arraigned Tuesday evening and both pleaded not guilty, according to Kait Munro, a spokesperson for the DA’s office.
Attorneys for the Naabs did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
Flynn said that the Buffalo Bills found out about the alleged fraudulent vaccine cards through an anonymous tip and that the couple was already on the team’s radar before the January 15 game for allegedly posting on social media about using fake vaccine cards to get into previous games.
“Allegedly there had been some social media activity in previous games and someone saw it on social media and called the Buffalo Bills or called the health department and made an anonymous tip that these two individuals were allegedly posting that they had been gotten into Bills games prior,” Flynn said.
During the third quarter of the game, the couple was questioned about their vaccine cards by authorities with the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and an investigation subsequently ensued, Flynn said.
The couple was arrested on January 25, according to Elaine Yingling, Orchard Park Town Court clerk.
Amber and Michael Naab are expected in court on February 22 for a felony hearing. If convicted of the charge, the maximum possible sentence is seven years in prison, the DA’s office said.
“DA Flynn does not anticipate that either will serve a term of imprisonment if convicted,” Munro said.
The New York State Health Department thanked Erie County and the football team in a tweet on Wednesday for helping to stop the use of fake vaccine cards.