A New Jersey pharmacist has been arrested and charged with selling fake COVID-19 vaccination record cards to individuals without actually administering the vaccine and then entering false information into a State-managed database of COVID-19 vaccination records.
Christina Bekhit, a licensed pharmacist who operates the AllCare Pharmacy in Bayonne, was charged with second-degree Computer Criminal Activity, third-degree Tampering with Public Information, and fourth-degree Destruction, Falsification, or Alteration of Records Relating to Medical Care. The charges stem from an investigation conducted by OIFP’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) in coordination with the Bayonne Police Department and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.
The complaint alleges that on three occasions Bekhit sold falsified COVID-19 vaccination record cards to undercover investigators for $250 apiece. The cards displayed vaccination dates and lot numbers for vaccines that were never administered to the recipients, including one undercover investigator who told Bekhit her job required her to be vaccinated.
The complaint further alleges that Bekhit entered false vaccination information into the New Jersey Immunization Information System database (NJIIS) purporting that the individuals had received COVID-19 vaccinations when they had not. NJIIS is an online system managed by the New Jersey Department of Health that serves as the official repository of immunizations administered to children, adolescents, and adults in New Jersey.
The MCFU Unit began investigating Bekhit after receiving information that Bekhit had sold a fraudulent COVID-19 record card to a Bayonne Police officer conducting an undercover operation in January 2022.
During the encounter with the undercover officer, Bekhit allegedly asked if he “really wanted to take the vaccine.” When the undercover officer said he did not, Bekhit allegedly offered to sell him a vaccine card that would include two vaccination dates and would be entered into the NJIIS database. Before leaving the pharmacy, Bekhit allegedly told the undercover officer “if anyone you know wants a vaccine card, bring them to me.”
In two subsequent visits from undercover investigators with the MCFU in February and March, Bekhit allegedly accepted payments for fake vaccination record cards and entered false information into the NJIIS. The investigation is ongoing.
The Division of Consumer Affairs, which oversees the State’s professional licensing boards, said the State Board of Pharmacy has been informed of Bekhit’s arrest and will consider disciplinary action against her practicing credentials, if appropriate.
In addition to being licensed to practice pharmacy in New Jersey, Bekhit is separately authorized by the Board to administer immunizations in the state.