An Illionois pharmacist arrested as we speak faces 120 years in jail for allegedly promoting dozens of genuine COVID-19 vaccination file playing cards issued by the Middle for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC).
“Knowingly promoting COVID vaccination playing cards to unvaccinated people places thousands and thousands of People liable to severe harm or dying,” mentioned FBI Particular Agent in Cost Emmerson Buie Jr.
“To place such a small worth on the protection of our nation is just not solely an insult to those that are doing their half within the struggle to cease COVID-19, however a federal crime with severe penalties.”
120 years in jail for promoting $1200 price of vaccination playing cards
34-year-old Tangtang Zhao from Chicago labored as a licensed pharmacist for a nationwide chain of shops and pharmacies that additionally distributed and administered COVID-19 vaccines.
In keeping with the indictment, Zhao bought 134 actual vaccination playing cards to 11 patrons who paid him roughly $1276, amounting to round $10 per vaccination card.
Zhao is now being charged with 12 counts of theft of presidency property, dealing with ten years in jail for every of the counts if discovered responsible.
He made his preliminary court docket look on Tuesday earlier than US Justice of the Peace Choose Sheila M. Finnegan of the US District Courtroom for the Northern District of Illinois.
“We take severely, and can vigorously examine, any legal offense that contributes to the mistrust round vaccines and vaccination standing,” added Assistant Legal professional Basic Kenneth A. Well mannered Jr. of DOJ’s Legal Division.
“The Division of Justice and its legislation enforcement companions are dedicated to defending the American folks from these offenses throughout this nationwide emergency.”
Warnings to not promote or purchase vaccination playing cards
In March, US federal companies warned the public in opposition to making or promoting faux COVID-19 vaccination file playing cards to keep away from breaking the legislation.
The FBI, the Division of Well being and Human Companies, and the Workplace of Inspector Basic (HHS-OIG) additionally warned in opposition to filling in clean vaccination file playing cards with false info.
“By misrepresenting your self as vaccinated when coming into colleges, mass transit, workplaces, gyms, or locations of worship, you place your self and others round you liable to contracting COVID-19,” the federal companies mentioned.