SANTA CRUZ — A Santa Cruz business owner facing federal COVID-19 fraud-related charges is scheduled to modify her not-guilty plea in a U.S. District Court hearing next month.
In a complaint filed in the Northern District on April 19, Jaimi Jansen, 40, was alleged to have sold fake COVID-19 homeopathic cures and fraudulent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 vaccination cards. Jansen is the founder and CEO of Santa Cruz CORE Fitness + Rehab, with locations in Santa Cruz and Watsonville but has stepped down from the chief executive role during the criminal case, according to her attorney, Peter Leeming.
“This has nothing to do with Santa Cruz CORE itself,” Leeming said Monday on behalf of his client.
The federal complaint alleges that Jansen participated in fraudulent activity from May to July 2021. It goes on to allege that Juli Mazi, a naturopathic doctor based in Napa, engaged in health care consultations with Jansen and employees of Santa Cruz Core, where Mazi sold the pellets and fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards. Mazi directed her audience to fill out the cards to “make it falsely appear as though the recipient had received the FDA-authorized Moderna COVID-19 vaccine,” according to the complaint.
“The purpose of the scheme was to make money by claiming that homeoprophylaxis immunizations would provide immunity to COVID-19 and to conceal and disguise the scheme by making it appear that customers received COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”),” the federal complaint reads. “JANSEN served as a distributor for Juli Mazi, a naturopathic doctor based in Napa, California, and aided and abetted Mazi’s scheme by purchasing the homeoprophylaxis pellets and false and fraudulent CDC COVID-19 vaccination record cards and reselling them to third parties.”
Jansen is scheduled to appear before Senior District Judge Charles R. Breyer at 10 a.m. June 3 in San Francisco.
Jansen’s case is linked to the criminal case of Mazi, 41, of Napa, who pleaded guilty in April to selling false proof of COVID-19 immunization to more than 300 people.
Mazi initially came under federal investigation in April 2021, when a complaint was issued against her for offering homeoprophylaxis immunization pellets which she claimed would provide lifelong protection from COVID-19, according to a media release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of California. In a plea agreement, Mazi agreed to be sentenced in July for charges of wire fraud and making false statements related to health care matters. For her crimes, Mazi faces a maximum statutory prison sentence of 20 years for the wire fraud charge and 5 years for the false statements charge, plus up to a $250,000 fine and 3 years of supervised release for each charge.
Jansen’s complaint alleges that she received large vials of the pellets and repacked them for sale along with printouts of Mazi’s two-page instruction sheet with instructions on how to fill in the blank CDC COVID-19 vaccination record cards, sold to about 170 recipients. Jansen allegedly received about $19,500 from the recipients as a result of this scheme, with a personal profit of approximately $14,000, according to the complaint.
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline via the NCDF web complaint form at justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.