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Man accused of stealing 500 Covid vaccine cards in Los Angeles

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A Nevada man accused of stealing more than 500 blank Covid-19 vaccine cards from his Los Angeles vaccination site where he worked was charged Wednesday with one count of major theft, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney.

The man, 46-year-old Muhammad Rauf Ahmed from Las Vegas, was arrested in April but the indictment was delayed as police and prosecutors tried to determine the value of the cards, which ended up being “at least $ 15 apiece if illegal. sold.”

Across the country, many bars, restaurants and businesses that operate with disabilities have eased restrictions on people who can prove they received the vaccine by creating a clandestine market for fake or fake vaccine cards.

In Januaryfake vaccine cards have been selling on Etsy, eBay, Facebook, and Twitter for between $ 20 and $ 60. In May, California bar owner was arrested on charges of selling counterfeit vaccine cards for $ 20 apiece.

Mr. Ahmed was a non-clinical contracted employee hired to work at the vaccination site at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds, where about 4,000 vaccines are administered daily, the La Verne Police Department in East Los Angeles County said in a statement.

On April 27, the department was contacted after an on-site guard noticed Mr. Ahmed walking away with a bundle of identification cards in hand by Detective Sergeant. Corey Leaper said in an interview on Wednesday.

In the end, two vaccination station staff ran into Mr. Ahmed in his car, the detective sergeant said. Mr. Ahmed told them he liked getting into his car during his break and that day he tried to “prefill” the cards with the information that went to each recipient to stay ahead of his workload, the detective sergeant said. …

According to police, officials seized 128 cards from Ahmed’s car, and upon further interrogation, Ahmed admitted that he may have taken additional cards. The police found 400 blank cards in the hotel room where he was staying. Mr. Ahmed was arrested. Attempts to contact him by phone on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

“Selling counterfeit and stolen vaccine cards is illegal, immoral and puts the public at risk of contracting the deadly virus,” said George Gascon, District Attorney in Los Angeles. said in a statement on Wednesday.

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