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California bar owner arrested for selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards, officials say

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Posted at 2:36 PM, May 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-06 15:36:57-04

CLEMENTS, Calif. -- A bar owner in California faces multiple felony charges for allegedly selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards from his bar.

The state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control arrested the man at his bar, the Old Corner Saloon, in the small town of Clements this week.

Clements is about 35 miles southeast of Sacramento.

The state agency started investigating after getting a complaint about the bar owner, they said in a statement.

Undercover agents were able to buy fake vaccination cards at the bar on multiple occasions in April.

The fake cards were reportedly being sold for about $20.

During a search of the bar, agents say they found “materials related to the distribution of fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards.”

“It is disheartening to have members in our community show flagrant disregard for public health in the midst of a pandemic,” said San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salzar in a statement. “Distributing, falsifying or purchasing fake COVID-19 vaccine cards is against the law and endangers yourself and those around you.”

In addition to felony forgery and identity theft charges, the bar owner faces disciplinary action from the ABC that could include revoking his liquor license.

People are asked to not share images of their vaccination card on social media to protect their identity and to stop potential fraud.