California bar owner accused of selling fake COVID-19 vaccine cards

CLEMENTS, Calif. — The owner of a California bar is accused of selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards, authorities said.

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Todd Anderson, 59, of Acampo, was arrested Tuesday at his bar, according to the Stockton Record. He was charged with three felonies, including forgery of a government seal, identity theft and having an unregistered firearm in a public place, Elisa Bubak, a spokesperson for the San Joaquin County district attorney’s office, told the Los Angeles Times.

According to a news release from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, an investigation was opened after the agency received complaints that fake cards were being sold at the Old Corner Saloon in Clements.

Undercover agents bought four fake vaccination cards at the bar for $20 apiece John Carr, a spokesperson for the Alcoholic Beverage Control, told the Times.

Bubak said the identity theft charge was attached because Pfizer, Moderna, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other entities were represented on the fake vaccination cards, the Times reported.

The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the arrest, according to a news release. During his arrest, Anderson was found to be in possession of “materials related to the distribution of fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards” and an unregistered firearm, officials said.

A search warrant at the bar also “recovered materials related to the distribution of fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards,” including a lamination machine, the Record reported.

San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar said in a statement that falsifying vaccination cards is illegal and dangerous.

“It is disheartening to have members in our community show flagrant disregard for public health in the midst of the pandemic,” Verber Salazar said.

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