Who is Todd Anderson? California bar owner, 59, who sold $20 fake Covid-19 vaccination cards busted
Anderson sold fake cards to undercover agents multiple times, each costing only $20 before he was arrested on May 5
CLEMENTS, CALIFORNIA: Vaccine card scams aren't new, but here's the first major case where someone has been busted over them. Todd Anderson, a bar owner in Clements, California, reportedly sold fake Covid-19 vaccination cards to undercover agents multiple times, leading to his arrest on May 5.
The 59-year-old man was also busted for having an unlicensed firearm at the bar, which is a felony in California. Another employee of the Old Corner Saloon is also being investigated in connection with the scam. Agents with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) arrested Anderson after receiving a tip about fake cards being sold at the bar. Undercover agents were even able to purchase the cards from him, at a cost of just $20 per card. Apart from facing a felony charge, as well as any other charges stemming from the arrest, Anderson's bar could also see its liquor license revoked.
Who is Todd Anderson?
Not much is known about the 59-year-old bar owner. He doesn't appear to have a Facebook profile, and a LinkedIn profile associated with the bar is restricted. We do not know if Anderson is married or if he has a family. He was born in Minnesota and has lived in San Joaquin County since 1986, according to the bar's website. He also owns a vineyard, 'Anderson Vineyards', and sells the wine at the bar as well as other selected restaurants.
Anderson bought the Old Corner Saloon in 2005 from its previous owner. He has run the bar "with the same industrious, inventive and congenial spirit of the original builders of the town of Clements," the website claims. Following the arrest, the bar will remain open for business, but their license could be revoked at any time.
It is unclear when Anderson began forging the fake cards or when the ABC received a tip. The press release by San Joaquin County DA's office says, "Undercover agents were able to purchase the fraudulent cards at Old Corner Saloon on multiple occasions in April." Agents confiscated a laminating machine and around 30 blank cards, ABC reported. He has been charged with falsifying a medical record, falsifying a seal, several counts of identity theft and possession of a loaded, unregistered firearm.
Following the arrest, DA Tori Verber Salazar said, "It is disheartening to have members in our community show flagrant disregard for public health in the midst of a pandemic. Distributing, falsifying or purchasing fake Covid-19 vaccine cards is against the law and endangers yourself and those around you." ABC10 reported that Anderson is currently out on bail, which was set at $380,000. He faces county jail or state prison "depending on a variety of factors". He is due to be arraigned in Lodi on May 18.