Prosecutors on St. Thomas have dismissed charges against a couple that was accused of submitting false COVID-19 test results to the online travel portal.

The couple, Douglas Miller, 70, and Patricia Miller, 68, of Boulder, Colo., had traveled to the Virgin Islands Tuesday to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary, according to Territorial Public Defender Frederick Johnson.

But instead of a romantic hotel, the Millers spent their first night of the trip in jail after they were unable to post $5,500 bail each.

The couple appeared in court Wednesday, when Magistrate Judge Henry Carr III said he had a bad feeling about the case, and the Millers may have been victims of a scam testing service.

The affidavit submitted for Douglas Miller’s arrest noted that Director of Environmental Health Wanson Harris contacted the facility where the Millers said they’d gotten tested, and spoke with a woman who said she’d conducted their tests. But when informed that LabCorp had verified the tests submitted by the Millers were fraudulent, the woman “then asked if she could correct the test by emailing another test,” according to the affidavit.

Harris asked “if the first test is valid as she stated, why would she need to submit another test?” The woman refused to answer further questions and hung up, according to the affidavit. The same number called back a short time later, and Harris said he spoke to another woman who said she could verify the Miller’s tests were valid, but also hung up after refusing to answer questions.

At Wednesday’s hearing, Assistant V.I. Attorney General Brenda Scales asked the court for additional time to submit evidence so Carr could find probable cause for the arrests.

Carr agreed, but released the Millers on their own personal recognizance.

On Friday, the government presented no additional evidence, and Scales said the Justice Department had decided not to prosecute the Millers after all.

“You’ve been released from the jurisdiction of this court,” Carr told the couple. “Sorry that this happened; you are free to go.”

At another court hearing on St. Croix on Friday, Magistrate Judge Miguel Camacho addressed a similar case against a woman named Shania Shervington, 35, who was arrested April 12 and charged with making fraudulent claims upon the government, access to a computer for fraudulent purposes, use of false information and filing or recording forged instruments.

Despite telling the court that she intended to remain on St. Croix with family, Shervington apparently returned to her home in Florida — and her job at a laboratory that performs COVID-19 testing.

While he’s concerned Shervington returned to Florida, “what really bothers me the most is her job and the charges against her. Now she’s in a job where she’s dealing with these permissions to travel regarding this COVID,” Camacho said. “I want to know about her job and what she’s doing and how is she involved with the COVID information transmittals?”

Territorial Public Defender Leslie Davis said she would provide the court and prosecutors with contact information for Shervington’s employer so they can determine her level of involvement in COVID-19 testing.

- Contact Suzanne Carlson at 340-714-9122 or email