Most Read

News & Politics

Georgia Man Sentenced To Prison After Spending $57k In Pandemic Relief On Pokémon Card

Georgia Man Sentenced To Prison After Spending $57k In Pandemic Relief On Pokémon Card
Laurens County Sheriff's Office; Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

There are some collectors out there who will go to great, even desperate lengths to acquire missing pieces of their collections.

Perhaps none more so than a man in Dublin, Georgia who was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison after applying for a fraudulent pandemic relief loan.

And what did he use the majority of the money he was given on?

A Pokémon card.

NBC affiliate WSAV 3 reported on the story.

31-year-old Vinath Oudomsine applied for a loan from the Small Business Administration claiming it was for an "entertainment services" business according to state prosecutors and was given $85 thousand.

Oudomsine claimed his business had 10 employees and took in $235 thousand in gross revenue in the year preceding the pandemic.

However, it was later discovered Oudomsine spent $57,789 of those funds to buy a Charizard card to add to his Pokémon collection.

News of Oudomsine's story was met with a wide array of reactions on Twitter.

Some wondered if he would be allowed to play Pokémon while in prison.

While others condemned Oudomsine for using pandemic relief for such a frivolous purchase when there were small businesses who genuinely needed it to stay afloat.

In addition to his prison sentence, Oudomsine was also ordered to pay restitution of $85,000, as well as a fine of $10 thousand.

He was also given three years supervised release after his prison term.

But perhaps the most painful blow of all, to Oudomsine anyway, was he had to forfeit the Charizard card.

U.S. Attorney David H. Estes released a statement regarding Oudomsine's arrest.

"Congress appropriated funding to assist small businesses struggling through the challenges of a global pandemic."
"Like moths to the flame, fraudsters like Oudomsine took advantage of these programs to line their own pockets — and with our law enforcement partners, we are holding him and others accountable for their greed."

Though usually done more ethically, forking over high sums of money for rare Pokémon cards is not an uncommon occurrence.

According to TheWashington Post, a first edition box set of Pokémon trading cards was reportedly sold for $400 thousand.

YouTubuer Logan Paul reportedly paid $150 thousand for a Charizard card.

And rapper Logic reportedly won a first edition Charizard card at an auction with a bid of $220 thousand.