POMONA, Calif. (CNS) - A Los Angeles County contract worker who allegedly stole hundreds of blank vaccination cards from a COVID-19 vaccination center at the Pomona Fairplex was charged Wednesday with a felony count of grand theft.
Muhammad Rauf Ahmed, 45, of Las Vegas, allegedly stole more than 500 cards, which have a value of at least $15 each if illegally sold, according to Los Angeles County prosecutors.
Officials determined April 27 that blank vaccine cards had been stolen from the vaccination site, where Ahmed was assigned to work, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
In a statement, La Verne police said 528 blank COVID-19 vaccine cards were recovered in the suspect's hotel room.
Ahmed -- described by police as a non-clinical, contracted employee hired to support the Fairplex Mega-Pod vaccination site that at times administered nearly 4,000 COVID-19 vaccinations a day -- was arrested April 27. He was released the same day, according to jail records.
Ahmed is set to be arraigned Aug. 25 at the Pomona courthouse.
"Selling fraudulent and stolen vaccine cards is illegal, immoral and puts the public at risk of exposure to a deadly virus," District Attorney George Gascon said.