Photo: David Ryder/AFP/Getty Images
A federal jury in Chicago convicted pharmacist Tangtang Zhao, 36, of Chicago, of the theft of CDC-issued COVID-19 vaccination cards from the pharmacy where I worked and which he sold to buyers across the country through an online marketplace.
According to the Justice Department, court documents and evidence presented at trial, Zhao had access to the vaccination cards at the pharmacy. During a three-week period in March and April 2021, when he published listings of more than 650 COVID-19 vaccination cards which it advertised as “authentic” and “straight from the CDC.”
Total, he sold 630 cards to approximately 200 unique buyers, who paid Zhao more than $5,600.
The jury convicted Zhao of 12 counts of theft of government property. He is scheduled to be sentenced on November 28. and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the Sentencing Guidelines and other legal factors.
According to reports from ABC News, the Office of the Inspector General of Health and Human Services (HHS-OIG), in August 2021 began receiving “increasing reports of people creating, buying and using fake COVID-19 vaccination cards. 19”, for which he warned that the spread of false cards could leave the personal identity of the victims vulnerable.
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