Long Island CVS employee found with fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards

COVID-19 News and Information
EAST GARDEN CITY, Long Island (WABC) -- A CVS employee is facing charges after police say he was found in possession of fraudulent vaccine cards on Long Island.

The arrest happened around 10:40 p.m. Tuesday in East Garden City, where police on a drug trafficking investigation spotted a man sitting in a gray Mazda with the engine running.

The man, 21-year-old Zachary Honig, exited the vehicle when officers approached, and after they asked him for ID, they spotted brass knuckles in the car when he opened the passenger side door.

Inside the vehicle, they found a controlled substance and 62 COVID-19 vaccination cards.

They said eight of them were fill out, with only the "name" section blank. The other 54 were blank.

Some were dated for last week, while others were dated 30 days ahead.

Authorities say he planned to share them with family and friends, and according to court documents, he also admitted to selling them to students so they could go back to school.

"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," Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said. "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."

Dr. Brian Harper, with New York Tech, says faking a COVID vaccination card hurts everyone.

"Many of us as medical professionals and public health officials they're going to use that card to make determinations on how to plan to reduce the likelihood of the virus, so you may be getting by the system but ultimately it's adversely affecting the entire community," he said.

Honig has no prior arrests and is charged with eight counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument, criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a weapon and petit larceny.

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

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