CLEMENTS –On May 5, 2021, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) announced that ABC agents have arrested the owner of the Old Corner Saloon in Clements on charges of selling fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards.
ABC opened an investigation after receiving a complaint that fraudulent cards were being sold at the bar located at 18783 East California Highway 88 in Clements.
“ABC agents are responsive to the complaints and concerns of community members and investigate suspected illegal activity taking place inside establishments that sell and or serve alcohol,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona.
Undercover agents were able to purchase the fraudulent cards at Old Corner Saloon on multiple occasions in April. As a result, agents arrested the owner of the business for selling the fraudulent cards, which is a violation of the California Penal Code. During the arrest, the owner was also found to be in possession of a loaded unregistered firearm, which is a felony. ABC will also be seeking a criminal complaint on another employee of the business. With assistance from the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office and the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office, agents also executed a search warrant at the premises and recovered materials related to the distribution of fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards.
San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar said, “It is disheartening to have members in our community show flagrant disregard for public health in the midst of a pandemic. Distributing, falsifying or purchasing fake COVID-19 vaccine cards is against the law and endangers yourself and those around you. The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office is grateful for the partnership with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for their work in this case.”
Additionally, ABC will file disciplinary action against the business. Disciplinary action can include a suspension or revocation of the ABC license.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently published a public service announcement warning the public that selling fake vaccination cards with a government logo on them is a crime.