California arrested a bar owner earlier this week for allegedly making fake coronavirus vaccine IDs to customers, investigators said.
On Wednesday, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control announced the arrest of the Old Corner Saloon owner of Clements, California. The department said the suspect is charged with selling fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards to customers.
Fake Vaccination Cards
An anonymous tip was sent to the department saying 59-year-old Todd Anderson was making and selling the fake IDs at his bar. Authorities quickly followed up with an investigation to look into the case.
Allegedly, Anderson sold the fake COVID-19 vaccine cards for $20 each, authorities said. Eight undercover agents were able to buy the identification cards from the suspect in April on multiple occasions. Officials were able to shut down the operation and confiscated 30 blank cards.
“It is disheartening to have members in our community show flagrant disregard for public health in the midst of a pandemic. Distributing, falsifying, or purchasing fake COVID-19 vaccine cards is against the law and endangers yourself and those around you,” San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar said.
Authorities charged Anderson with falsifying a medical record, falsifying a seal, several counts of identity theft, and possession of a loaded, unregistered firearm. Investigators are also seeking a criminal complaint against one of the suspect’s employees who may have been helping Anderson manage the illegal operation, ABC News reported.
In March, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a warning of potential fraudulent vaccination cards being marketed and distributed across the country. “By misrepresenting yourself as vaccinated when entering schools, mass transit, workplaces, gyms, or places of worship, you put yourself and others around you at risk of contracting COVID-19,” the bureau said.