A Georgia man was sentenced to three years in prison for using a coronavirus relief loan to purchase a $58,000 Pokémon card.
Vinath Oudomsine, 31, reportedly received an $85,000 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) in August 2020 after claiming to run an “entertainment services” business in Dublin that had 10 employees and gross revenues of $235,000 in the year prior to the pandemic. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia said in a statement that Oudomsine later used $57,789 of the loan to purchase a Charizard Pokémon card, which he has agreed to relinquish to authorities.
Polygon reported that a Pokémon card was sold for the same amount on the PWCC marketplace in December 2020. The card in question is a first-edition shadowless, holographic Charizard with a 9.5 gem mint rating.
WGXA reported that Oudomsine pleaded guilty to wire fraud in October. In addition to forfeiting the Pokémon card, Oudomsine was also fined $10,000 and ordered to pay $85,000 in restitution.
Oudomsine is ineligible for parole as he was prosecuted on the federal level, according to Monday’s statement.
“COVID-19 disaster relief loans are issued by the government to help businesses struggling to survive during a pandemic, not to use for trivial collectible items,” said Philip Wislar, Acting Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta.
“This sentence highlights the FBI’s commitment to aggressively pursue anyone who would abuse taxpayer dollars and divert them from citizens who desperately need them.”
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[Featured image: Vinath Oudomsine/Laurens County Sheriff’s Office]