US pharmacist arrested for selling dozens of vaccine cards on eBay for $10 each
Tangtang Zhao was indicted on 12 counts of theft of government property.
US authorities have arrested a Chicago pharmacist for selling dozens of vaccination cards on eBay.
The US Justice Department said that Tangtang Zhao sold 125 official Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccination cards for $10 each online.
The pharmacist had access to the cards which are given to everyone who receives a Covid-19 vaccine and have become increasingly important in recent weeks as more businesses require proof of vaccination for activities such as indoor dining.
According to court documents, in March and April 2021, the 34-year-old Chicago native, sold the authentic CDC vaccination cards to 11 different buyers.
Zhao was a licensed pharmacist in Illinois and was employed at Company 1, a pharmacy which distributed and administered Covid-19 vaccines at its physical locations nationwide.
As required by the CDC, Company 1 provided a CDC Vaccination Record Card to each vaccine recipient.
Zhao, who worked at Company 1 as a pharmacist during that time, obtained and subsequently offered authentic CDC vaccination cards for sale online
Zhao was indicted on 12 counts of theft of government property.
The pharmacist now faces up to 10 years in jail for each count.
"We take seriously, and will vigorously investigate, any criminal offense that contributes to the distrust around vaccines and vaccination status," Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Knowingly selling Covid vaccination cards to unvaccinated individuals puts millions of Americans at risk of serious injury or death,” said Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie Jr. of the FBI’s Chicago Field Office.
“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."
A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the US Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Health and the Human Services Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG) are currently investigating the case.