Chicago pharmacist arrested for selling dozens of COVID-19 vaccination cards on eBay, feds say

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Aug. 19 2021, Published 8:47 a.m. ET

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A Chicago pharmacist was arrested by federal officials after he allegedly sold dozens of authentic COVID-19 vaccination cards on eBay, prosecutors announced.

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In March and April 2021, Tangtang Zhao, 34, sold 125 authentic CDC vaccination cards to 11 different buyers for approximately $10 a card, according to court documents.

Zhao was a licensed pharmacist in Illinois, and he was employed at a pharmacy that distributed and administered COVID-19 vaccines nationwide. Patients received a CDC Vaccine Record Card after the shots, federal prosecutors said.

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The indictment charges Zhao with 12 counts of theft of government property. If convicted, he faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison per count.

“Knowingly selling COVID vaccination cards to unvaccinated individuals puts millions of Americans at risk of serious injury or death,” said Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie Jr. of the FBI’s Chicago Field Office. “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.”

“Stealing and selling COVID-19 vaccination cards is inexcusable and will not be tolerated,” said Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General - Chicago Region. “Fraudsters who engage in such unlawful conduct undermine efforts to address the pandemic and profit at the public’s expense. The health and safety of the public is our top priority, and we encourage people to obtain vaccination cards from their administering medical providers.”

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