A 34-year-old pharmacist from Chicago has been accused of stealing authentic Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccination cards from his workplace to sell on eBay for just $10. The pharmacist is now facing up to 120 years in prison on 12 counts of theft.
Stealing CDC vaccination cards
Zhao, a licensed pharmacist in Illinois, had been working in a pharmaceutical company that distributes and administers COVID vaccines. The establishment was well-equipped with CDC vaccination cards that they handed out after every inoculation. According to the US Department of Justice, Zhao allegedly stole and sold 126 CDC vaccination cards to 11 customers in March and April 2021. They wrote in a statement:
According to court documents, in March and April 2021, Tangtang Zhao, 34, of Chicago, sold 125 authentic CDC vaccination cards to 11 different buyers for approximately $10 per card.
Indy100 reports that he made over $1,000 with his illegal transactions.
Facing 120 years in prison
Each count of theft could result in 10 years imprisonment and given that he is being charged with 12, the pharmacist is looking at a 120-year sentence if he is found guilty. Zhao appeared in court on Tuesday but the case is still being investigated by the FBI and The Office of Inspector General for the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Special Agent in Charge Emmersion Buie Jr. of the FBI’s Chicago Field Office said in regards to the case:
Knowingly selling COVID vaccination cards to unvaccinated individuals puts millions of Americans at risk of serious injury or death.
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.