A woman from suburban Chicago has been arrested and charged with using a fake vaccine card with Moderna misspelled on it in an alleged attempt to avoid quarantining during a trip to Hawaii, authorities said.
Chloe Mrozak, of Oak Lawn, was accused of using falsified vaccination documents and was being held at the Honolulu Police Department, according to court records.
An investigation into Mrozak's vaccine proof started on Aug. 23 when an administrator for the state's Safe Travels Program flagged her vaccine card and noted that her hotel could not confirm her reservation, Special Agent Wilson Lau with the Attorney General Department stated in a criminal complaint.
According to Lau, Mrozak presented an allegedly fake CDC vaccine card to a screener at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. The screener did not confirm Mrozak's hotel reservation before she left, however, and the hotel she listed ultimately had no reservation under her name.
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Officials also noted that her card misspelled Moderna's vaccine as "Maderna." The card said the vaccination was administered by the National Guard in Delaware.
Authorities said they attempted to reach Mrozak at her hotel and via information she gave during her screening but were unable to. They then contacted the state of Delaware's health department, where an official with the immunization department said the state had not been administering vaccines using National Guard troops and had no record of Mrozak's vaccination.
Mrozak was arrested Saturday as she arrived at the airport for her flight home with her sister, according to the complaint. At that time, she told Lau she had actually received her vaccine from her doctor's office and paid for it.
She was ultimately taken into custody and her bail was set at $2,000, officials said.
The Attorney General's office in Honolulu confirmed Mrozak was arrested Saturday "for violating the Hawaii Governor’s Emergency Proclamation for attempting to bypass the State’s quarantine requirement by submitting a falsified vaccination card." The office said she was unable to post bail and was placed in custody pending a court appearance that took place on Monday.
"The Department of the Attorney General is committed to vigorous enforcement of the Governor’s Emergency Proclamation," a spokesperson said in a statement. "Everyone should know that falsified CDC cards are a federal offense and in some states, it is a separate state charge. In Hawaii, using falsified proof of testing or vaccination documents for travel into the state is a misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year for each count. Our department will prosecute these crimes to the fullest extent provided by the law."
Mrozak was appointed a public defender. He could not immediately be reached by NBC Chicago for comment.
Mrozak's arrest is the latest in a string of charges surrounding fake vaccine cards in the U.S.
Creating or having a vaccination card that an authorized source did not officially give to you is a federal crime, in part because the CDC is a federal agency, and the card includes a CDC seal.
Earlier this month, a couple from Miami Beach was also arrested in Hawaii after police say they attempted to use fake vaccination cards to travel into the island for a family vacation.
Court documents show the couple was arrested on Aug. 11 after an airport screener became suspicious about the children's vaccine cards due to their age. The two kids were born in 2016 and 2017, and are too young to have been inoculated with any of the three vaccines currently approved for emergency use in the U.S.
An anti-vaccine entrepreneur calling herself the "AntiVaxMomma" on social media sold about 250 fake COVID-19 vaccination cards through Instagram to New York healthcare workers, while a conspirator entered some of those people into a state database for vaccination registrations, Manhattan prosecutors said Tuesday.
The DA's office also charged 13 people with buying the fake cards via the "@AntiVaxMomma" account, among them hospital and nursing home workers.
A Chicago pharmacist was also arrested two weeks ago on federal charges of stealing and selling authentic Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 vaccination cards, federal investigators announced.