California bar owner charged with selling fake vax cards

Los Angeles, May 7 (IANS): A bar owner in California was arrested on charges of selling fraudulent Covid-19 vaccination cards, the state's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) announced.

The authority received a complaint that fake vaccination cards were being sold at the bar in in Clements, San Joaquin County, and undercover agents were able to buy fake cards there on several occasions in an investigation operation, Xinhua news agency quoted a report by the ABC News

It's not clear how much the cards cost or how many were allegedly sold.

"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." Tori Verber Salazar, San Joaquin County District Attorney, said in a statement on Thursday.

The suspect would face three felony charges, including carrying an unregistered firearm, forgery of a government seal and identity theft of Pfizer, CVS and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) published a public service announcement on March 30 warning the public that involving in fake vaccination cards business is a crime.

"If you make or buy a fake Covid-19 vaccination record card, you endanger yourself and those around you, and you are breaking the law," the FBI noted.

The news came when demand for vaccines is slowing down across most of California, meanwhile the vaccination rates across the state are showing wide disparities.

According to the latest data updated by the California government, 42.3 per cent of eligible residents have been fully vaccinated and an additional 18.6 per cent received at least one dose.



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