A Maryland man is facing fraud charges after he allegedly ordered over 600 fake COVID-19 vaccination cards and sold them on social media, Fox 13 reports.
The Department of Justice announced Monday that Amar Salim Shabazz, 23, of Owings Mills, Maryland, has been charged with mail fraud and obstruction of justice. Federal prosecutors said Shabazz purchased over 600 fraudulent COVID-19 vaccinations cards through a foreign online marketplace and had the cards illegally shipped into the United States.
Shabazz began listing the cards for sale in the comments section of social media posts and YouTube videos, advertising them for $60 and $75 each. “On July 10, 2021, after the shipment was delivered, Shabazz posted a video of multiple fraudulent vaccination cards on two of his social media accounts with the caption ‘Covid19 vaccination card who want one. $75 a pop,’” the DOJ report states.
In August, Shabazz allegedly told one potential buyer that he was out of the cards. “I’m sold out right now no more vax cards until next week,” he posted online. “Made 300 today. I’m sold out. Just bought 500 more cards. 60x500 is $30k. I’m gonna be rich.”
Later that month, Customs and Border Patrol agents seized a package addressed to Shabazz.
“CBP officers seized a shipment sent to Shabazz’s address with the name, “MAR SHA” and Shabazz’s telephone number,” investigators said. “The carrier’s website noted the package had been delayed at U.S. Customs. Shabazz then allegedly searched the phrase “customs inspection packages VACCINATION cards” and viewed a video titled, “FBI investigating fake vaccination cards.”
If convicted, Shabazz faces up to 20 years in prison on each count of mail fraud and obstructing justice, though prosecutors said his actual sentence will likely be less than the maximum penalty.