KEY POINTS

  • Morgan Webb, 23, pleaded guilty to federal misdemeanor charges Tuesday
  • She admitted to purchasing the cards in question knowing they were counterfeit
  • Her sentencing has been scheduled for April 20

A notary in Missouri admitted to ordering 989 fake COVID-19 vaccination cards from China, authorities have said.

Morgan Webb, a 23-year-old notary from St. Louis, pleaded guilty to federal misdemeanor charges Tuesday for possession of an imitation insignia of a U.S. agency after she intentionally ordered fake vaccine cards, reported St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Customs and Border Protection officers intercepted the shipment directed to Webb's address at a DHL shipping hub in Kentucky in September 2021. Though the shipment had fake vaccine cards, the manifest indicated that they were Thank you cards. The order was later delivered to her apartment in St. Louis.

The fake cards carried the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) insignia and seal, which made them look similar to the original ones.

Webb admitted that she purchased the cards knowing they were counterfeit. However, the plea deal did not mention Webb's motive and if she sold any of the cards.

According to state records, Webb registered her notary business in July after becoming a notary public in May. 

The court has scheduled Webb's sentencing for April 20. Attorneys have reportedly concurred to recommend that she gets probation.

Ever since proof of vaccination has become mandatory in many parts of the country, there have been reports of people selling and ordering fake vaccine cards.

A Maryland man was busted last year for selling more than 600 fake COVID-19 vaccine cards after advertising them on social media. Amar Salim Shabazz, 23, ordered the fake vaccine certificates through a foreign online marketplace in June and got them illegally shipped into the United States.

He then advertised them for sale at $60 to $75 through his social media pages and distributed them to his customers through the United Parcel Service.

Last month, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed new legislation criminalizing fake COVID-19 vaccination cards. As per the new law, falsification of such documents merits a misdemeanor charge.

"Individuals who misrepresent their vaccination history, not only jeopardize their own health, but the health of all those they come into contact with," the governor said in a news release cited by CNN.

vaccine-g6cb03f3b0_640 representational image Photo: pixabay