California Alcohol Beverage Control
(CLEMENTS, Calif.) — A bar owner in California was arrested this week for making fake IDs that had nothing to do with drinking, investigators said.
The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control announced on Wednesday that it arrested the owner of the Old Corner Saloon in Clements, California, allegedly for selling fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards.
The department received a tip that Todd Anderson, 59, was making and selling the cards at his bar, which led to an undercover investigation, the agency said in a statement.
Anderson was selling the cards for $20 apiece, authorities said. At least eight were sold before undercover agents, who said they purchased IDs at the bar “on multiple occasions in April,” shut down the operation. A laminating machine and 30 blank cards were confiscated.
“It is disheartening to have members in our community show flagrant disregard for public health in the midst of a pandemic,” San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar said in a statement. “Distributing, falsifying or purchasing fake COVID-19 vaccine cards is against the law and endangers yourself and those around you.”
Anderson was charged with falsifying a medical record, falsifying a seal, several counts of identity theft and possession of a loaded, unregistered firearm, authorities said.
It’s unclear whether Anderson has retained an attorney at this time.
Investigators also said they’re seeking a criminal complaint against one of Anderson’s employees who may have been involved in the alleged operation.
The FBI issued a warning in March over potentially fraudulent vaccination cards being sold.
“By misrepresenting yourself as vaccinated when entering schools, mass transit, workplaces, gyms or places of worship,” the FBI said in a statement, “you put yourself and others around you at risk of contracting COVID-19.”
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