Chicago Pharmacist Indicted for Selling Hundreds of COVID Vaccination Cards Online
The 34-year-old Man Has Been Charged with 12 Counts of Theft and Is Facing 120 Years in Jail.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice press release, a Chicago-based certified pharmacist has been arrested on Tuesday for allegedly selling more than 100 authentic Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 vaccination cards on eBay.
Following the incident, the 34-year-old man named Tangtang Zhao could serve a sentence of no less than 120 years if found guilty.
Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie Jr. of the FBI’s Chicago Field Office declared:
Knowingly selling COVID vaccination cards to unvaccinated individuals puts millions of Americans at risk of serious injury or death.
To put such a small price on the safety of our nation is not only an insult to those who are doing their part in the fight to stop COVID-19 but a federal crime with serious consequences.
The man was a licensed pharmacist in Illinois and worked at Company 1, a pharmacy that distributed and administered COVID-19 vaccines at its physical points all over the country.
He is accused of obtaining the vaccine record cards while at work and then posting them for sale on eBay for $10 per card. Zhao supposedly sold a total of 134 cards to 11 different customers in March and April 2021 and gained approximately $1280.
According to the indictment, Zhao could go to prison for 120 years if found guilty. He is charged with 12 counts of theft of government property, with 10 years per count.
As per the press release, Zhao made his initial court appearance on Aug. 17 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila M. Finnegan of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
We take seriously, and will vigorously investigate, any criminal offense that contributes to the distrust around vaccines and vaccination status.
The Department of Justice and its law enforcement partners are committed to protecting the American people from these offenses during this national emergency.
According to BleepingComputer, US federal agencies warned in March that selling or buying fake Covid-19 vaccine cards is considered a felony and individuals caught doing it will be punished.
The FBI and HHS-OIG are investigating the case of the 34-year-old man from Illinois and Trial Attorney Leslie S. Garthwaite of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section is prosecuting the case.