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7 Charged In U.S. Virgin Islands For Fake COVID-19 Tests
An Alabama woman was the latest traveler to be arrested in the U.S. Virgin Islands for allegedly submitting a fake COVID-19 test to the U.S.V.I. online travel portal.
Franketa A. Taylor, from Birmingham, is charged with fraudulent claims upon the government, access to a computer for fraudulent purposes, use of false information, and filing or recording forged instruments.
An early report from The Virgin Islands Daily News said Taylor’s bail was set at $5,500.
Taylor is the seventh person to be charged with entering an altered or forged COVID-19 test in the travel portal used to screen visitors.
Earlier in April, 35-year-old Shania Shervington was arrested for submitting an altered negative test to the travel portal as well. Her bail was also set at $5,500, but she was released on her own recognizance pending her next hearing, according to police.
Travel Noire reached out to the Virgin Island Police Department for comment. It remains unclear the sentencing guidelines and fines, if found guilty.
Fraudulent COVID-19 tests are on the rise as more countries require proof of a negative test for entry.
In France, authorities arrested seven people for selling false-negative COVID-19 test results at Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport in 2020. According to prosecutors, the suspects reportedly charged between $180-$360 for the tests. If convicted, the suspects face up to five years in prison and approximately $500,000 in fines.
Fake tests are not the only fraudulent activity that has been a problem during the pandemic. Fake coronavirus testing kits are being sold on the Black Market, and even worse, testing scams are popping up.
When in doubt, check with your airline or accommodation for a list of verified testing locations.