A man holding a vaccination reminder card in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. Not related to this story. Wilfredo Lee/AP
Zachary Honig, 21, was arrested after cops found 62 vaccination cards in his car.
He said he sold some of the cards to students and planned to share the rest with family and friends.
It is a federal crime to produce or buy fake COVID-19 vaccination cards.
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A CVS employee in Long Island, New York, was arrested after police officers found 62 fake COVID-19 vaccination cards in his car that had been pilfered from his workplace.
Zachary Honig, 21, wa arrested last Tuesday in East Garden City when officers looking for drug offenders spotted him sitting his car with the engine running, WABC reported.
The officers searched his car and found a controlled substance, as well as a stash of stolen vaccination cards, the report said.
Honig admitted to the authorities that he had taken the cards from his employer, WABC reported. He also said he had sold some cards to students and was intending to share the remainder with family and friends, WABC reported.
Honig now faces eight charges, including possession of a forged instrument, criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a weapon, and petit larceny, WABC reported.
Officers told a press conference that eight vaccination cards were pre-filled with information, leaving only the “name” section empty, while 54 others were left blank. Some of the cards were also marked with dates in June, while others were backdated to reflect prior vaccination dates.
“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,” Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder told WABC.
“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,” Ryder added.
Insider has contacted CVS for comment. WABC reported that the company had fired Honig after the arrest.
“We’re cooperating with the Nassau County Police Department’s investigation of an employee at our CVS Pharmacy store on Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown,” a company representative said in a statement.
“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 is not the first person charged with dealing in fake vaccination cards. CNN reported earlier this month that a California bar owner was charged with several felonies – including forgery and identity theft – for selling fake COVID-19 vaccine cards for $20 apiece.
It also emerged last month that Amazon sellers were peddling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards on the platform. One seller in particular sold 100 cards within two weeks, The Washington Post reported.
Following an appeal by 45 state attorney generals for e-commerce sites to ban listings of fake Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination cards, the black market for these fake proofs-of-vaccination shifted to encrypted messaging apps, where Telegram users can connect with sellers.
The FBI has warned that creating and selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards is a federal crime. It also said that using a government agency seal without authorization to make a card look like it was issued by the CDC is also illegal.
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