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'Greed is usually a big motivating factor' | Clements bar owner accused of selling fake vaccine cards for $20 apiece

San Joaquin County District Attorney says the bar owner created a "dangerous" situation.

STOCKTON, Calif — A Clements bar owner is out of jail on $380,000 bail after he was arrested for allegedly making and selling phony COVID-19 vaccination ID cards.

The arrest happened Tuesday afternoon at The Old Corner Saloon on Highway 88 in the small, San Joaquin County town of Clements. 

"We located thirty blank cards, or roughly 30 blank cards, laminating machines, laminate, cutters," said Alcoholic Beverage Control Deputy Chief Luke Blehm.

Acting on a tip two weeks ago, agents from the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control say they also purchased several fake, filled-out cards, undercover at twenty-bucks apiece.

59-year-old bar owner Todd Anderson was arrested on several felonies, including conspiracy to commit crime, ID theft, carrying a loaded, unregistered handgun, forging an official seal and a misdemeanor of altering a medical record with fraudulent intent.

It's not known how many fake ID cards may have been sold or for how long.

"Greed is usually a big motivating factor in these types of cases," says San Joaquin County District Attorney, Tori Verber Salazar.

The DA says "depending on several factors" Anderson faces county jail or state prison time. ABC could also suspend his license or revoke it altogether.

Verber Salazar believes someone who poses as being vaccinated but is not, can have serious consequences.

"If you got vaccinated or you don't, that's your personal decision. But, to not get vaccinated and then create a fraudulent pathway so that you would be representing to the community, to your colleagues at work, to the people you're traveling with on the airplane, to anybody that you have been vaccinated is dangerous," said Verber Salazar.

Anderson is set to appear in court for his arraignment in Lodi on May 18. The bar had no comment when contacted.

The ABC says it plans on arresting a bartender for allegedly selling the fake vaccination cards, too.

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