A Long Island CVS employee was arrested after police found 62 fake COVID-19 vaccination cards in his car

·3 min read
A Long Island CVS employee was arrested after police found 62 fake COVID-19 vaccination cards in his car
Vaccine
A man holding a genuine vaccination-reminder card in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood. Wilfredo Lee/AP
  • Zachary Honig, 21, was arrested after the police said they found 62 vaccination cards in his car.

  • He reportedly admitted to selling some cards and planning to share the rest with family and friends.

  • It is a federal crime to produce or buy fake COVID-19 vaccination cards.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

A CVS employee on Long Island, New York, was arrested after police officers found 62 fake COVID-19 vaccination cards in his car that authorities say had been pilfered from his workplace.

Zachary Honig, 21, was arrested Tuesday in East Garden City when officers looking for drug offenders spotted him sitting his car with the engine running, WABC reported.

The officers said they searched his car and found a controlled substance as well as a stash of stolen vaccination cards, according to the report.

Honig told the authorities he had taken the cards from his employer, WABC reported. He also said he had sold some cards to students and was intending to share the remainder with family and friends, WABC reported.

Honig now faces eight charges, including possession of a forged instrument, criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a weapon, and petit larceny, WABC reported.

Officers told a press conference that eight vaccination cards were prefilled with information, leaving only the "name" section empty, while 54 others were left blank. Some of the cards were also marked with dates in June, while others were backdated to reflect prior vaccination dates.

"His intent was to share them with family members and friends that they can go into venues and possibly even use them at school when they go back in September," Commissioner Patrick Ryder of the Nassau County Police Department told WABC.

"You can't have scams like this occurring. The idea of getting us all back to normal is that when you walk into a place and they're requiring that card, you want to make sure that card is factual," Ryder added.

Insider has contacted CVS for comment. WABC reported that the company had fired Honig after the arrest.

"We're cooperating with the Nassau County Police Department's investigation of an employee at our CVS Pharmacy store on Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown," a company representative said in a statement.

"Following his arrest, we took immediate steps to terminate his employment as his alleged activity conflicts with our values, our policies, and our commitment to safe, secure vaccination protocols."

Honig is not the first person charged with dealing in fake vaccination cards. CNN reported earlier this month that a California bar owner was charged with several felonies - including forgery and identity theft - over accusations of selling fake COVID-19 vaccine cards for $20 apiece.

It also emerged last month that Amazon sellers were peddling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards on the platform. One seller in particular sold 100 cards within two weeks, The Washington Post reported.

Following an appeal by 45 state attorney generals for e-commerce sites to ban listings of fake Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination cards, the black market for fake proof of vaccination shifted to encrypted messaging apps, where Telegram users can connect with sellers.

The FBI has warned that creating and selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards is a federal crime. It also said using a government agency seal without authorization to make a card look as if it were issued by the CDC is also illegal.

Read the original article on Insider