Kroger pharmacist allegedly offered forged vaccine cards: report

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy reportedly suspended the pharmacist's license after an undercover investigation

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy suspended the license of a Kroger pharmacist who allegedly forged and offered to sell vaccination cards, according to a report Thursday.

The board initiated an undercover investigation after receiving a tip from a health care professional whose patient claimed the pharmacist, identified as Ryan Ford, was selling the forged cards for $60, Spectrum News 1 Ohio reported, citing a public record of the investigation’s findings.

An undercover agent for the Board of Pharmacy approached Ford in October. Within days, Ford allegedly provided her with an official vaccine card free of charge, though she was never vaccinated. The pharmacist is also alleged to have told the agent he could provide more fake vaccine cards to her friends in exchange for a $60 fee.

Syringes filled with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are shown, Thursday, May 13, 2021, at a mobile vaccination site at the Greater Bethel Church in Miami.  ((AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) / AP Newsroom)

An account of the investigation included in the board’s Dec. 9 license suspension notice noted Ford met the undercover agent in the parking lot of a nearby shopping center. 

The pharmacist purportedly left the forged card on top of a trash can in an envelope with the agent’s name on it. The card included fake information about Moderna doses, including dates, as well as "Kroger Pharmacy" as the location where they were administered.

An Orange County firefighter holds his vaccination card after receiving the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine in Irvine, California, U.S., January 27, 2021. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (Reuters)

Ford reportedly declined Spectrum News’ request for comment on the allegations. He can request a hearing with the board within 30 days to address his suspension, according to the report.

A spokesman for the board declined to say whether the case could be referred to local authorities.

Kroger and the Ohio Board of Pharmacy did not immediately respond to requests for further comment.


Boxes containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at the McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Miss., Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, Pool)

Authorities have cracked down on instances of fraud amid a nationwide vaccination push.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection has seized thousands of fake cards since last August, according to federal officials.

Earlier this month, the Justice Department filed federal charges against a Maryland man accused of distributing fake vaccine cards. The man, identified as Amar Shabazz, allegedly sold hundreds of cards for $75 each.