WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A pharmacist was arrested in Chicago for selling Covid-19 vaccination cards on eBay.
- He allegedly sold one vaccination card for $10 each.
- The pharmacist pleaded not guilty to the charges.
A licensed pharmacist is being accused of selling Covid-19 vaccination cards on eBay. He was arrested in Chicago on Tuesday.
According to a news release by the Justice Department, 34-year-old Tangtang Zhao allegedly sold the Covid-19 vaccination cards in March and April. The cards were from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Zhao allegedly sold 125 cards to 11 different buyers for about $10 each.
Zhao, who was then working as a pharmacist, was charged on 12 counts of theft of government property, per the department.
Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie Jr., with the FBI’s Chicago Field Office, said in the statement that Zhao put millions of Americans at risk of serious illness or death with what he has done.
He added: “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.”
During the arraignment on Tuesday, Zhao pleaded not guilty through his defense attorney, Gal Pissetzky.
According to the indictment, Zhao received $176.70 on April 2 from a buyer who bought 17 cards. The indictment also shows that Zhao made more than $1,200 in sales between March and April.
During the arraignment, US Magistrate Judge Sheila M. Finnegan ordered Zhao to inform his employer about his charges. Pissetzky replied that Zhao will be fired from his work if his employer finds out about it, but the judge replied: “He might be able to do some other kind of work.”
The judge gave Zhao seven days to tell his employer and agreed to release him on a $4,500 unsecured bond.
If found guilty, Zhao will be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison for each count, according to the Justice Department.
Last month, another criminal fraud case related to Covid-19 vaccination record cards was filed by the Justice Department.
In July, a California-based licensed naturopathic doctor was charged for selling immunization pellets that he said would create Covid-19 antibodies, and for instructing customers what to write on their CDC vaccine card so it seems like they had been vaccinated with Moderna.