• Blog

Georgia Man Used COVID-19 Relief Money on Super-Expensive Pokémon Trading Card  

Federal officials this week sentenced a Georgia man to prison after he admitted he lied to obtain a COVID-19 disaster relief loan — and then used nearly $60,000 of that money to buy a Pokémon trading card.

Vinath Oudomsine, 31, of Dublin, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia.

“As described in court documents and testimony, starting on or around July 2020, Oudomsine applied to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) ostensibly for an ‘entertainment services’ business in Dublin that Oudomsine claimed had 10 employees and gross revenues of $235,000 in the 12 months preceding the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  

“As a result of fraudulent representations on Oudomsine’s application, the SBA deposited $85,000 into Oudomsine’s bank account on Aug. 4, 2020. Oudomsine later used $57,789 of the funds to purchase a Pokémon trading card. Oudomsine agreed to forfeit the Pokémon card – ‘Charizard’ – as part of the prosecution.”

According to Pokemon.com, a Charizard spits fire hot enough to melt boulders and may cause forest fires by blowing flames.

Court officials sentenced Oudomsine to a 36-month federal prison sentence.

U.S. District Court Judge Dudley H. Bowen gave a Oudomsine $10,000 fine and ordered him to pay $85,000 in restitution. Oudomsine must also serve three years of supervised release after he completes his prison term.

The federal prison system has no parole.