Amar Salim Shabazz faces up to 20 years in prison for postal fraud and obstructing justice in connection with the distribution of cards.
READ MORE: Health officials urge vaccinations and recalls as COVID-19 rate rises, Omicron arrives in Maryland Criminal complaint says since June 2021 Shabazz has purchased more than 600 fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards via a foreign online marketplace and illegally sent them to him.
He then advertised them on social media, and he didn’t hesitate to do so.
According to the complaint, Shabazz posted a video of the cards on two of his social media accounts with the caption “Covid19 vaccination card who wants one. $ 75 per pop. “
Shabazz reportedly texted someone when he was sold out: “Done 300 today. I’m exhausted. I just bought 500 additional cards. 60 × 500 is equivalent to $ 30,000. I will be rich.
On August 19, CBP agents seized a shipment that was sent to Shabazz’s address. The carrier’s website said the package had been delayed at US Customs. Shabazz then reportedly searched for the phrase “VACCINATION cards from customs inspection packages” and watched a video titled “FBI Investigating Fake Vaccination Cards.”
Shabazz then placed another order and started selling these cards for $ 70 each.
READ MORE: Maryland has three confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, according to Hogan Investigators interviewed Shabazz clients outside Maryland and confiscated the fake cards. On October 1, they executed a search warrant in a basement where Shabazz worked.
There, law enforcement found a list: “Things I do when I go out (update)”.
In early 2021, Shabazz was being held in the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services after being convicted of possession of child pornography. He was released in April 2021.
Officials said the list included obtaining two “burner” cell phones, with the note “the first burner is for the scam.” Another bullet allegedly said, “Hire a lawyer and get advice on what not to do when you get money illegally.”
The next day, Shabazz reportedly researched how to delete his account on the overseas market website he had used to purchase the cards and deleted his email account.
In early April, the National Association of Attorneys General called on eBay, Shopify and Twitter to stop people from selling or advertising fake CDC vaccine cards on their platforms.
In May, the attorney general established the COVID-19 Enforcement Task Force to step up efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud.
NO MORE NEWS: Jury watches interview video in murder trial of Keith Smith, who blamed Panhandler for his wife’s death
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Enforcement (NCDF) hotline at 866-720 -5721 or via the NCDF online complaint form at: https: // www. .justice.gov / disaster-fraud / ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.