Charges Dismissed in COVID-Fraud Case

Two tourists arrested Thursday for presenting what appeared to be phony COVID-19 test results have had charges dropped due to a lack of evidence that the couple knew or should have known the results were not real.

Potential visitors must post results of a negative COVID-19 test on the V.I. Travel Portal before they can travel to the territory.

Douglas and Patricia Miller were arrested April 29 and charged with several offenses stemming from the belief they filed forged documents. But on their advice of rights, Magistrate Judge Henry Carr III expressed concern there were not enough facts to support the arrests or say one way or the other whether they knew the tests were faked.

The charges were dismissed Friday.

Other media outlets, including the Virgin Islands Daily News, reported that prosecutors told the court they attempted to contact the cited testing company and that company’s representative at first said the results were valid, then became evasive and hung up. The court reportedly suggested the Millers may have been the victims rather than the perpetrators of fraud.