A New York man was arrested after his employer reported that he had provided a plagiarized COVID-19 vaccine card, according to the New York State Police.
David R. Kemp, 24, of Eaton, New York, was charged with a second-degree possession of a forged instrument, which qualifies for a Class D felony in the state. The unauthorized use of a government agency’s seal is a federal crime.
A news release from the New York State Police detailed the arrest and charge but did not identify the private company based in Marcy, New York, that reported Kemp to the Department of Health Vaccination Complaint Investigation Team.
Lost your COVID-19 vaccine card? Don’t worry, you can get a new one.
At-home coronavirus test: FDA authorizes home test from ACON Laboratories, potentially doubling nation’s supply
Kemp was arrested Friday and arraigned at the Oneida County Public Safety Building. If convicted, he could face up to seven years in prison, according to the NYS Unified Court System. The minimum for the charge would be probation with no jail time.
This is not the first time COVID-19 documents have been faked. A 24-year-old woman from Illinois forged a vaccine card last month and misspelled Moderna. A Los Angeles couple was arrested last week and accused of falsifying negative test results in Hawaii.
Because making a counterfeit COVID-19 document is not difficult given the cards are marked by hand, the FBI released a public warning in March that creating or buying a fake vaccine card is illegal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention later delivered guidance to states to pull the templates from their sites back in April. New York is one of the few states to embrace a vaccination verification app.