SEATTLE — For roughly a year a Parker man and a co-conspirator with "Top Secret" security clearance made and sold fake COVID-19 vaccination cards, according to a federal criminal complaint filed Monday.
Robert Van Camp sold cards to undercover officers on numerous occasions and at one point told one of them, "until I get caught and go to jail .. I'm taking the money," the complaint says.
He faces two counts, according to the complaint:
- Conspiracy to defraud the United States
- Trafficking in counterfeit goods
Van Camp and the unnamed co-conspirator are accused of making and selling the cards between April 2021 and April of this year, the complaint says.
Van Camp and the co-conspirator obtained an electronic copy of a blank COVID-19 vaccination record card which appeared "visually identical" to the official COVID-19 vaccination record cards distributed by the CDC, the criminal complaint says.
The co-conspirator lived with Van Camp and worked as a private contractor in the defense industry and had "Top Secret" security clearance, the complaint says.
At least one witness heard Van Camp say he had "inside knowledge" about COVID-19 vaccination record cards due to his co-conspirator's security clearance, according to the complaint.
Van Camp and others used the blank cards to make hundreds of false and fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards, the complaint says. They printed them using similar paper and ink and included the HHS and CDC's official government logos, according to the complaint.
The cards were then sold by Van Camp for profit to "purportedly" unvaccinated people, the complaint says. Some of those buyers were undercover law enforcement officers and in one transaction, the complaint says an undercover officer purchased five fake cards for $600, or $120 each.
During the sale, he told the officer, "I've been a printer for 30 years so this was easy for me," the complaint says. Van Camp published magazines that contained advertisements and promotions from various businesses, the complaint says.
> Read the full complaint below:
According to the complaint, Van Camp also sold the cards to "distributors" who then resold the cards to others.
Before distributing the fake cards Van Camp told buyers and distributors to provide names, dates of birth, and desired vaccination dates to write on the cards, the complaint says.
He further instructed them to either identify a legitimate local CDC-authorized COVID-19 vaccination provider or provide a location so that he could identify a local CDC-authorized COVID-19 vaccination provider to make it appear the cards were indeed from an authorized provider, the complaint says.
In addition, according to the complaint, he asked for photos of authentic vaccine cards so that he could obtain vaccination lot numbers for the fake cards.
Van Camp distributed "hundreds" of these completed fake cards in Washington state and elsewhere, the complaint says, and he and his co-conspirator made "thousands" of dollars. They were paid in cash, by check, and even through a Venmo account in the co-conspirator's name, according to the complaint.
To help conceal the operation, Van Camp used and directed others to use "code names" when communicating about the fake cards, the complaint says, and they were often referred to as "gift cards" or "restaurant gift cards." Van Camp also told others to delete their conversations about the fake cards, the complaint says.
On Oct. 14, 2021, the complaint says federal agents conducted a trash pull at a home in Parker belonging to Van Camp and his co-conspirator. In the trash they found a "card list" and buyers' names, according to the complaint. They also found shipment records indicating that Van Camp mailed packages to that buyer's home in Washington state earlier that month, the document says.
Handwriting on those cards closely matched the handwriting on the cards that Van Camp sold to the undercover officers, the complaint says.
Electronic email records also revealed numerous conversations between Van Camp and buyers about the fraudulent sales, the complaint says.
Van Camp was arrested this week in Colorado and released but the complaint says must surrender his passport and abide by travel restrictions. He's due to appear in federal in the Western District of Washington on May 10.
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