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Colorado man faces federal charges for allegedly selling fake COVID-19 vaccine cards across the U.S.

COVID-19 vaccination card
Posted at 5:12 AM, Apr 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-20 08:12:50-04

SEATTLE — A Colorado man is facing federal charges in the state of Washington after allegedly selling hundreds of counterfeit COVID-19 vaccine cards to people across the country, according to court documents filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

Robert Van Camp is charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the government of the United States for “knowingly and intentionally impairing the functions of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)” in both the administration and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine as well as the administration and enforcement of the government’s federal employee vaccination mandate, according to an affidavit in the case.

Van Camp and a co-conspirator – who was not identified in the documents but who was employed by a private contractor in the defense industry and had a Top Secret security clearance, according to the arrest affidavit – obtained an electronic copy of a blank COVID-19 vaccine card and made counterfeit copies to be sold to hundreds of unvaccinated people, including federal employees, over a period of a year, starting in or around April 2021, arresting documents show.

“In order to conceal and disguise the scheme, Van Camp used … code names … such as “gift card,” “restaurant gift card,” and “consulting” when communicating with potential buyers, including four federal agents who went undercover to obtain evidence.

Arresting documents show Van Camp would sell the fake COVID-19 vaccine cards for as little as $17 to upwards of $750, depending on the number of cards requested by potential buyers, which Van Camp claimed were in the upper hundreds.

“I’ve got people that are going to the Olympics in Tokyo, three Olympians and their coach in Tokyo, Amsterdam, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Honduras … I’m in 12 or 13 states,” Van Camp proudly told one of the undercover agents, according to the affidavit.

The suspect portrayed himself to undercover federal agents as a regular citizen who was just doing his part to fight what he believed to be government overreach, claiming that what he was doing was “fixing this wrong.”

“We’re talking about people who can’t go to work, can’t go to school, and their (sic) losing their job,” Van Camp allegedly told one of the undercover agents. “Like, I’m not making cards cause I’m bored, I’m making cards cause I’m in the middle of a f-----g war.”

Van Camp would also reveal to undercover agents that he had “a lot of guns and ammo, like an arsenal” and that he was selling counterfeit COVID-19 vaccine cards because he was “trying not to kill anybody.”

“I’m exhausting myself doing cards, that I’m too tired to kill people,” Van Camp allegedly told one of the undercover agents, according to the affidavit. “But people need to go, like this is some evil, it literally is good versus evil, this is bad.”

A search through Van Camps’ trash at his Parker home by federal agents on Oct. 14, 2021 revealed handwritten documents containing a list of names from buyers and a list of payment amounts, as well as torn up COVID-19 vaccine cards.

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A search through Van Camps’ trash at his Parker home by federal agents revealed handwritten documents containing a list of names from buyers and a list of payment amounts, as well as torn up COVID-19 vaccine cards.

Transaction records obtained by federal agents from Venmo also revealed at least 74 payments made to an account belonging to the co-conspirator made between approximately June 22, 2021 and February 14, 2022, according to the affidavit.

In arresting documents, Van Camp allegedly claimed that was he was doing was not wrong because the COVID-19 vaccine cards he was selling were not “even really a fake or a copy – it’s the card. It’s just you didn’t go to a hospital to get it, you got it from me.”

However, to be eligible to administer COVID-19 vaccines (and therefore, obtain proof of COVID-19 vaccination), medical providers and other administrators of the vaccine were required to enter into provider agreements with the CDC, which arresting documents assume Van Camp never did.

Additionally, the HHS registered the trademark for the CDC’s official logo in mid-March of 2022, specifically listing “Printed vaccination record cards” which Van Camp was not allowed to use for his purposes, as it violates Title 18, United States Code, Section 2320(a)(1).

Van Camp’s first scheduled court appearance took place Tuesday.

This story was first reported by Óscar Contreras at KMGH in Denver.