A New York City couple was indicted Monday for allegedly faking their coronavirus infections in order to delay the husband’s drug trial.
Devon Lewis and Blair McDermott are charged with felony counts of forgery and offering a false instrument for filing, along with several misdemeanors.
The couple forged “multiple positive test results for COVID-19” to delay Lewis’ trial on sale and possession of cocaine and heroin, Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini said.
“It is reprehensible that someone would claim to have this deadly virus, which has taken so much from so many people, to try to avoid the consequences of their own criminal actions,” Sini said.
The day before closing arguments, Lewis provided the court with a photograph of a document that purported to show McDermott had tested positive, the indictment said. The trial was suspended.
On Oct. 1, Lewis told the judge he and McDermott were quarantining in their Manhattan apartment. A week later, Lewis showed another photograph that purported to show McDermott had tested positive a second time.
The trial finally resumed in November when Lewis was convicted.
The district attorney’s office said McDermott altered the documents submitted to the court. She tested negative when she said she tested positive. She also altered the date of her initial test.
When investigators analyzed Lewis’ cell phone, it showed he and McDermott had traveled to hotels and casinos in three states when they were supposedly quarantining.
Lewis pleaded not guilty and was remanded without bail. McDermott also pleaded not guilty and was released on her own recognizance.
“This was a completely selfish, senseless attempt to subvert our criminal justice system and delay the inevitable, but there’s no escaping justice in Suffolk County. You will get caught and you will be prosecuted,” Sini said.