Man jailed for spending COVID-19 disaster loan on Pokemon card
Photo by Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
A 31-year-old Georgia man has been sentenced to three years in prison for using COVID-19 relief funds to buy a rare Charizard Pokemon map in 2020.
Vinath Oudomsine of Dublin, Georgia, has been charged with wire fraud, after he allegedly lied to the government last year to get a COVID-19 relief loan to buy the rare card, which state authorities say would cost over $57,000.
Georgia Southern District Justice Department released a statement saying the man was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison, with no offer of parole, and was fined $10,000, while also having to repay the $85,000 he has stolen.
The man also agreed to give up the rare PokÃ©mon card as part of his plea deal.
‘Appropriate Congress’ Like moths to the flame, fraudsters like Oudomsine have taken advantage of these schemes to line their pockets – and together with our law enforcement partners, we hold him and others accountable for their greed.
U.S. Attorney David H. Estes
The purpose of the COVID-19 Disaster Relief Loans was for the government to help businesses that were struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Georgia man lied to the government about his business, claiming to provide ‘entertainment services’ with a gross income of $235,000 and 10 employees.
As Oudomsin is released from prison, the final installment of the main series of PokÃ©mon games, Pokemon Scarlet and Purplewill be available, and the first two Gen IX games are due out later this year.