Last year a Georgia man was charged by federal prosecutors after allegedly lying to apply for a Covid disaster loan, then turning around and spending it on a single Pokémon card. He has now admitted his guilt and been sentenced to prison.
Vinath Oudomsine, from Dublin, Georgia, has been accused by federal prosecutors of fraudulently applying for 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 reports, Oudomsine is accused by authorities of applying for the loan last year, claiming 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 ($278) 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 ($117,997). The only problem was that prosecutors allege he had no such business, and instead spent the bulk of the loan amount — $US57,789 ($80,223) — 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 $US250,000 ($347,050) fine.
The Department Of Justice announced today that Oudomsine, after “pleading guilty to one count of Wire Fraud”, will be spending three years in a federal prison, which means there’s no chance of parole. He’ll then spend a further three years on “supervised release” after he’s out. In addition to his sentence, Oudomsine will also have to pay back the $US85,000 ($117,997) loan, along with an additional fine of $US10,000 ($13,882).
While we didn’t know at the time which specific card he spent the money on, the Southern District of Georgia US Attorney’s Office was now able to disclose that the card in question is a $US57,000 ($79,127) “Charizard”, which as Polygon points out is likely this “9.5 gem mint” card.