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.
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.
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.
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.