Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

‘You will be prosecuted:’ Cuomo promises consequences for vaccine fraud after ParCare scandal

After an Orthodox-owned health clinic appeared to be administering COVID-19 vaccines to members of the public contrary to state guidelines, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the investigation would be referred to the state attorney general’s office and that vaccine-related fraud would come with consequences.

“We will not tolerate any fraud in the vaccination process,” Cuomo said at a news conference Monday. “Anyone who engages in fraud is going to be held accountable.”

His comments come two days after New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker announced a criminal investigation into ParCare Community Health Network, a chain of clinics operating in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Orange County, for potentially obtaining the vaccines “fraudulently” and administering them to members of the public when only certain groups are eligible to receive it.

One prominent Modern Orthodox rabbi who received a vaccine at a ParCare clinic said he had not been aware that the vaccines were administered improperly and that he would not have done it had he known the process was not above board.

“We want to send a clear signal to the providers that if you violate the law on these vaccinations, we will find out and you will be prosecuted,” Cuomo said Monday.

ParCare, which maintains that it obtained the vaccines appropriately, is owned by Gary Schlesinger, a prominent Hasidic businessman. Schlesinger’s Facebook page includes pictures of him with various New York elected officials, including state Attorney General Letitia James.

“We are actively cooperating with the State of New York’s inquiries,” ParCare said in a statement Monday afternoon. “Governor Cuomo himself stressed the importance of getting all the facts and providing the facts to the state is exactly what we have done and will continue to do.”

Cuomo also announced he would sign an executive order Monday that could make health providers who engage in vaccine-related fraud liable for fines of up to $1 million and could revoke state licenses. It was not immediately clear if the state would revoke providers’ general medical licenses or just licenses to administer the vaccine.

Engage

  • Events

    Haart to Haart

    Virtual

    Dec 7, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    A conversation with Julia Haart and her son Shlomo, stars of Netflix's 'My Unorthodox Life,' about the new season and much more.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.