A businessman from Dublin, Georgia, is in hot water after allegedly lying in his COVID-19 relief loan application and then using most of the funds to purchase a Pokémon card.
Like no one ever has:
Vinath Oudomsine has been accused of misrepresenting his business’ revenue and its number of employees in his application for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), which was submitted in July last year. He was charged with one count of wire fraud on Tuesday, reported The Telegraph
- To maximize the amount he qualified for, Oudomsine claimed his business of two years had 10 employees and a gross revenue of $235,000 over 12 months.
- In August, the Small Business Administration (SBA) awarded him a loan amounting to $85,000.
- The charge against Oudomsine, filed in the Southern District of Georgia, carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence and fines up to $250,000.
Misuse of funds:
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act
) was passed in March 2020 to ease requirements and extend eligibility for businesses applying for an EIDL.
- The loaned amount is intended to be used for a business’ operational expenses and capital.
- According to court filings, Oudomsine used $57,789 from the funds to buy a Pokémon card in January.
- While it was not specified which Pokémon card Oudomsine bought, Polygon deduced that the purchased card was a “first edition shadowless, holographic Charizard card with a 9.5 gem mint rating.” The card was sold at the PWCC Marketplace for $57,789, which was the same amount the authorities cited.
- Rare Pokémon cards of a similar condition and quality rating can be sold for tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- In January, a rare Pokémon Blastoise card sold for a whopping $360,000 at an auction, NextShark previously reported.
Oudomsine’s case came to light after the Department of Justice
released a document listing luxury items that pandemic aid recipients bought.