Tangtang Zhao, 34, was charged with 12 counts of theft of government property.
"Stealing and selling COVID-19 vaccination cards is inexcusable and will not be tolerated," Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services IG said in a statement. "Fraudsters who engage in such unlawful conduct undermine efforts to address the pandemic and profit at the public’s expense.
Zhao is alleged to have sold 125 vaccine cards to 11 buyers for a total of $1,277.43 in March and April of this year.
A lucrative black market for both real and fake COVID-19 vaccine cards has popped up in recent months.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said last week that officers at the port of Memphis have seized more than 3,000 fake vaccination cards this year. Most recently on Aug. 13, officers seized "51 low quality, counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards" that were en route to the central business district of New Orleans from Shenzhen, China.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is now calling for a federal crackdown on the buying and selling of fake vaccine cards.
"There are now people manufacturing and selling fake COVID cards, even though it’s a crime," the Senator said Sunday, according to the New York Post. "The Department of Justice must ensure that fraud cases are prosecuted to the full extent of the law."