A California bartender allegedly sold the fake COVID vaccine cards to patrons for $20 each
It was only a matter of time. With COVID vaccinations on the rise as all adults over 16 are now eligible to receive a jab, some people apparently have a hesitancy about getting the shot. And so, a new underground market has popped up: fake vaccination cards.
Police arrested the owner of a Northern California bar this week on charges of selling phony COVID vaccination cards to customers.
After getting a tip that bogus vaccination cards were being sold at the Old Corner Saloon in Clements, officials from the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control — paid an undercover visit to the bar and posed as possible purchasers — the agents visited the bar on several occasions in April, and “were able to purchase the fraudulent cards,” People magazine reports.
This week the bar’s owner, Todd Anderson, was frogmarched away from his bar.
Anderson, charged with felony identity theft and falsifying government documents, as well as misdemeanor falsifying medical records, reportedly charged patrons $20 for the counterfeit goods.
People reports that when agents conducted a search of the bar, they found materials “related to the distribution of fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards.”
Officers are additionally reported to be checking one of Anderson’s workers for allegedly selling the doctored vaccination cards.
“It is disheartening to have members in our community show flagrant disregard for public health in the midst of a pandemic,” San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar said in a statement to the media.
“Distributing, falsifying or purchasing fake COVID-19 vaccine cards is against the law and endangers yourself and those around you,” she said. “The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office is grateful for the partnership with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for their work in this case.”
The department stated it will also file disciplinary action against the bar, the press release says, which could include the suspension or cancellation of the bar’s liquor license.
As of this writing, Anderson has not entered a plea.
To find vaccinations near you, visit www.vaccines.gov/. The government-run website can search for available doses of any of the three available vaccines, Visitors to the website can search any locale in the United States. Additionally, you do not need insurance to receive the COVID vaccine – the shot[s] will be provided at no charge to you.