Canadian couple who chartered plane to cut vaccine line plead guilty – .

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Canadian couple who chartered plane to cut vaccine line plead guilty – .


The wealthy Vancouver couple who flew a private plane to the Yukon Territory and posed as local motel workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine intended for remote and vulnerable Indigenous residents have pleaded guilty in connection with their elaborate fraud.

Rodney Baker, a casino executive, and his wife actress Ekaterina pleaded guilty Wednesday to failing to comply with an entry declaration form and non-isolation, according to the CBC.

The couple, who reportedly won $ 36 million in stock options last year, were fined a total of $ 2,300 and avoided jail, the news service said. They were risking up to six months behind bars for the January scam.

“Fortunately, nothing physical happened in this case, no one had COVID as a result,” Yukon Territorial Court judge Michael Cozens reportedly said as he condemned the jet-couple. set, who appeared in court virtually.

“There was harm, but the harm wasn’t that anyone caught COVID. It was certainly psychological.

News of Baker’s mind-boggling plan has sparked outrage far beyond the sparsely populated Northern Province of Canada.

The 55-year-old former mogul and 33-year-old actress reportedly told staff at the Beaver Creek mobile vaccination site that they were new workers at a local motel, but raised suspicion when they asked to be brought back to the airport after getting their shots, instead of going into quarantine.

Beaver Creek (population 100) had been a priority for immunization due to the vulnerability of its remote residents, most of whom are members of the White River First Nation.

Rodney Baker has resigned as president and CEO of the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, which owns more than 20 casinos, following an international backlash against his acclaimed exploits.

Janet VanderMeer of White River First Nation issued a victim impact statement on behalf of the community on Wednesday, according to the report.

“We never thought that anyone would take advantage of our situation as a small, remote community,” VanderMeer said, adding that the community was “shocked and outraged” by the wealthy couple’s actions, which sparked a sentiment. persistent “insecurity and mistrust,” the article says.

“Find out. Learn about First Nations people, small communities. Find out, please.

The Baker did not go to court, but defense lawyer Jennifer Cunningham reportedly said they “apologize wholeheartedly for their actions” and that the incident was “out of character”.

Prosecutors said there was “a high level of deception” in the couple’s vaccination shot, which cost a significant amount of money to make, they noted, according to the report.

In the end, lawyers agreed the couple did not deserve a prison sentence due to their cooperation with authorities and their willingness to take a COVID-19 test, which turned out to be negative, CBC reported. .

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