In Long Island, New York, police officers arrested a CVS employee after discovering 62 fake COVID-19 vaccination cards in his vehicle, which authorities claim were stolen from his workplace.
Officers searching for drug suspects found Zachary Honig, 21, sitting in his car with the engine running on Tuesday in East Garden City.
Officers searched his car and discovered a controlled drug as well as a stash of stolen vaccination cards.
Honig informed police that he had stolen the cards from his boss. He also had sold some cards to students and planned to give the rest to family and friends.
Honig is currently facing eight charges, including criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a firearm, and petit larceny.
According to officers, eight vaccination cards were prefilled with details, leaving only the “name” section blank, while 54 others were left blank. Some of the cards were also backdated to represent previous vaccination dates, while others were labeled with June dates.
Commissioner Patrick Ryder of the Nassau County Police Department told WABC, “His intent was to share them with family members and friends that they can go into venues and possibly even use them at school when they go back in September.”
He added, “You can’t have scams like this occurring. The idea of getting us all back to normal is that when you walk into a place and they’re requiring that card, you want to make sure that card is factual.”
A company representative said in a statement, “We’re cooperating with the Nassau County Police Department’s investigation of an employee at our CVS Pharmacy store on Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown,” adding that, “Following his arrest, we took immediate steps to terminate his employment as his alleged activity conflicts with our values, our policies, and our commitment to safe, secure vaccination protocols.”
Honig isn’t the first person to be accused of selling forged vaccination cards. According to CNN, a California bar owner was charged with multiple felonies earlier this month, including forgery and identity theft, after allegedly selling fraudulent COVID-19 vaccine cards for $20 each.
Last month, it was also discovered that Amazon sellers were selling fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards. According to The Washington Post, one seller, in particular, sold 100 cards in two weeks.
The black market for fake evidence of vaccination has moved to encrypted messaging applications. Telegram users can communicate with vendors, following an appeal by 45 state attorney generals for e-commerce platforms to ban listings of fake Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination cards.
Making and distributing fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards is a federal felony, according to the FBI. It also stated that it is illegal to use a government agency seal without permission to make a card appear as if the CDC issued it.