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Antonio Brown could face fine, jail time for faking vaccination


Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown could have violated federal laws by obtaining a fake COVID-19 vaccination card, and could face a fine and/or up to five years in prison, according to the FBI.

Brown has been accused by his former live-in chef of getting a fake COVID-19 vaccine card to bypass NFL health and safety protocols this season.

Chef Steven Ruiz decided to stop working for Brown after the two couldn't agree on a debt of $10,000 that Ruiz claims Brown owed him.

According to the FBI's website, using a fake COVID-19 vaccine card is "unauthorized use of a government agency's seal" and a violation of federal law.

And according to Bridget Patton, public affairs specialist for the FBI Kansas City Division, Brown could face a fine and/or up to five years in prison.

Text messages published in U.S. media outlets purportedly show Brown's girlfriend, Cydney Moreau, asking Ruiz whether he could obtain a fake COVID-19 vaccination card for Brown. Ruiz said he was unable to do so but alleges that he later learned Brown had obtained a fake vaccine card elsewhere just days before training camp. He claims to have seen the card himself.

'It's not a story', Buccaneers' coach says

The Buccaneers' coach Bruce Arians said Friday that he has no reason to believe wide receiver Antonio Brown procured a fake COVID-19 vaccination card and that the team did its due diligence in vetting player vaccine cards, according to ESPN.

"None whatsoever," Arians said. "We did our due diligence. The league will do theirs. The statement says everything. I really don't think it's a story, and it has nothing to do with the Giants game."

Lawyer, team deny Brown's vax card is fake

Brown's lawyer, Sean Burstyn, has issued multiple statements in response to the allegations. Burstyn says Brown is vaccinated and noted the wide receiver would be willing to get a booster shot "live on TV" if it was required.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers issued a statement on Thursday saying all of the team are vaccinated.

Brown's status for this weekend's game against the Washington Football Team has yet to be determined due to an ankle injury he suffered in Week 6.

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