Vinath Oudomsine, from Dublin, Georgia, has been accused by federal prosecutors of fraudulently applying for a an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). The man claimed to be running a business, but reportedly spent most of the money on a rare Pokémon card instead.
As The Telegraph report, Oudomsine is accused by authorities of applying for the loan last year, claiming that he was running a small business that employed ten other people. The loans, which were available nationally and resulted in the government lending over $US200 (A$268) billion to American businesses, were designed to help cover the costs of “payroll, rent/mortgage, utilities, and other ordinary business expenses” during the worst months of the pandemic.
He was successful and was given $US85,000 (equivalent to $113,883 AUD). Only problem was that prosecutors allege he had no such business, and instead spent the bulk of the loan amount — $US57,789 (A$77,426) — on a single Pokémon Card. He has now been charged with wire fraud, and if found guilty could be spending “up to 20 years in federal prison”, and would also face a $334,950 fine.
In case you’re wondering, the exact identity of the card was not disclosed by prosecutors, but that kind of figure puts it in illustrious company; going by our own list published in July this would make it the tenth most expensive Pokémon card purchase of all time, pricier than the $US45,100 (A$60,425) spent in December 2020 on Ex Deoxys GOLD STAR HOLO Rayquaza #107.
Maybe this guy is a life-long Pokémon fan, saw his chance to get the card of his dreams and took it. Or, given the fact he’s accused of wire fraud by federal authorities and we’re currently living through an age where every speculative market is in unsustainable overdrive, maybe he just read one too many stories about how “valuable” these cards are and figured he’d get in on the action.