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Maryland man facing federal charges for selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards

Authorities say a Maryland man is facing federal charges in connection with a scheme to distribute fake COVID-19 vaccination cards.

Officials say 23-year-old Amar Shabazz is accused of selling and distributing over 600 fake COVID-19 vaccine cards that he allegedly bought through a foreign online marketplace.

Shabazz advertised the cards for sale on social media platforms and distributed them through the U.S. mail, official say.

Court officials say Shabazz sold the fraudulent card for approximately $70 to $75 each. "I’m sold out right now no more vax cards until next week," officials say he posted online over the summer. Additionally, authorities say Shabazz messaged another person saying, "Made 300 today. I’m sold out. Just bought 500 more cards. 60x500 is $30k. I’m gonna be rich."

Shabazz was an inmate of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services in early 2021 after being sentenced in in the Circuit Court of Maryland for possession of child pornography. He was released in April 2021.

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In October, law enforcement executed search warrants at a basement used by Shabazz and said they found a bulleted list titled, "Things I’m doing when I get out (updated)." The list included obtaining two "burner" cell phones, with the note, "first burner is for scamming." Another bullet point stated, "hire a lawyer and get tips of what not to do when getting money illegally."

If convicted, Shabazz faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ incarceration each for mail fraud and for obstruction of justice.