Man Who Used U.S. COVID Relief Loan To Buy Pokémon Card Sentenced To Prison
posted on by Kim Morrissy
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed on Monday that a Georgia man who fraudulently applied for a COVID-19 disaster relief loan has been sentenced to 36 months in a federal prison. The man pled guilty to using $57,789 of the $85,000 he received from an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) to purchase a Pokémon trading card.
He was also fined $10,000 and ordered to pay restitution of the loan's full amount. The Pokémon card in question, described by the DOJ simply as "Charizard," was forfeited to the prosecutors. Polygon reported that a first-edition Charizard card with a 9.5 gem mint rating was sold at the PWCC marketplace for $57,789 in late December.
According to court documents and testimony, Vinath Oudomsine applied for the loan in around July 2020, claiming that he ran an “entertainment services” business in Dublin with 10 employees and a gross revenue of $235,000 in the 12 months preceding the pandemic.
“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. He affirmed the FBI's commitment to "aggressively pursue anyone who would abuse taxpayer dollars and divert them from citizens who desperately need them.”