CHICAGO — A suburban Chicago woman was arrested in Hawaii last week after, court records show, she entered the state with a fake COVID-19 vaccination card that misspelled drug company “Moderna” as “Maderna.”
Chloe Mrozak, 24, was arrested Aug. 28 at Inouye International Airport in Oahu and faces a misdemeanor charge of falsified vaccination documents, according to court records. The arrest was first reported by Hawaii News Now.
Investigators believe that Mrozak submitted the false card to avoid the state’s 10-day mandatory quarantine that was put into place after Hawaii’s governor issued an emergency proclamation, according to court records. Mrozak’s card indicated that she was vaccinated in Delaware by the National Guard.
Investigators contacted Delaware’s immunization program and learned that the state did not use its National Guard to administer vaccination shots, according to court records. The state also said there was no record of a vaccination under Mrozak’s name and date of birth.
Mrozak’s travel records indicated that she traveled to Hawaii on Aug. 23 on Southwest Airlines to visit friends or relatives, according to court records. She listed herself as staying at a Holiday Inn Express but an assistant general manager told investigators they did not have any reservations under Mrozak’s name.
Mrozak’s travel records listed her departure date as Aug. 28 on American Airlines, according to court records.
Investigators arrested Mrozak at the airport on her departure date, and she told them that she paid for her vaccination card at her doctor’s office, according to court records.
Mrozak’s bail was set at $2,000, according to court records.
Mrozak could not be immediately reached for comment.
Earlier in August, Illinois was connected to another incident involving alleged fake vaccination cards.
A licensed pharmacist was arrested in Chicago on charges related to allegedly selling dozens of authentic COVID-19 vaccination cards on eBay, according to an FBI statement.
Tangtang Zhao, 34, sold 125 authentic vaccination cards in March and April to 11 buyers for about $10 per card, the statement said. Zhao was licensed in Illinois and worked at a pharmacy that administered COVID-19 vaccines.
Zhao was charged with 12 counts of theft of government property, the statement said.
“We take seriously, and will vigorously investigate, any criminal offense that contributes to the distrust around vaccines and vaccination status,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division in a written statement. “The Department of Justice and its law enforcement partners are committed to protecting the American people from these offenses during this national emergency.”
“Knowingly selling COVID vaccination cards to unvaccinated individuals puts millions of Americans at risk of serious injury or death,” said Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie Jr. of the FBI’s Chicago field office in a written statement. “To put such a small price on the safety of our nation is not only an insult to those who are doing their part in the fight to stop COVID-19, but a federal crime with serious consequences.”
If convicted, Zhao faces a sentence of 10 years in prison per count.