Rolling Out

Georgia man spent COVID relief funds on $57K Pokémon card

Georgia man spent COVID relief funds on $57K Pokémon card
DragonCon 2017 (Photo by Mo Barnes for rolling out)

Sometimes you just have to catch them all at any price.

A Georgia man spent more than two-thirds of his COVID-19 relief loan to pay for a Pokémon card, the Macon Telegraph reports.

Official Southern District of Georgia records show on Oct. 19, Vinath Oudomsine, of Dublin, Georgia, was charged with wire fraud. From July 2020 to January 2021, Oudomsine conducted a scheme to receive an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. In his application for a small business loan in July 2020, Oudomsine claimed he had 10 employees, his business had been established since 2018 and generated $235,00o in gross revenues every 12 months. In August 2020, the Small Business Administration deposited $85,000 into a bank account in Oudomsine’s name. In January, Oudomsine purchased a Pokémon card for $57,789.

The charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison and $250,000 in fines, although in most cases actual sentences are usually much lower, according to the Macon Telegraph.

In December 2020, a 1999 first edition holographic Charizard Pokémon card sold for $369,000, Dicebreaker reports.

The Japanese-based Pokémon series came to life in video game form on Nintendo’s Game Boy systems in 1996. The concept of the game is for users to be Pokémon trainers, collect little monsters called Pokémon and train them for battles with other Pokémon. The goal of the game is to catch all 151 Pokémon.

After selling millions of copies of the game, the franchise’s popularity grew even more once the first episode of Pokémon’s anime debuted in April 1997.

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