Caught for Catching 'Em All: Feds Say Georgia Man Spent Covid Aid on Pokémon Cards

A Georgia man is facing a wire fraud charge for using Covid-19 relief money to allegedly purchase over $55,000 worth of Pokémon cards.

Prosecutors in the Southern District of Georgia accused Vinath Oudomsine of lying on an application for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), one of a handful of small relief programs overseen by the Small Business Administration during the pandemic. The money was supposed to be used to cover various business and operating expenses, and prosecutors claim that not only did Oudomsine lie on his application, but the money he did receive primarily went towards trading cards anyway.

Lawyers for Oudomsine did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s request for comment. A representative for prosecutors overseeing the case declined to comment further.

According to court documents obtained by Rolling Stone, prosecutors allege that Oudomsine filed his SBA loan application on July 14, 2020 for a business he claimed had been around since 2018. Oudomsine claimed on the application that he had 10 employees and 12-month gross revenues of $235,000. 

About a month later, in Aug. 2020, Oudomsine’s EIDL application earned him an $85,000 deposit from the Small Business Administration. At the top of 2021, prosecutors claim, Oudomsine used that money to drop a whopping $57,789 on Pokémon cards — about 68% of the total sum he received. 

Alas, there was nothing in the court documents to answer such lingering and pressing questions like, was Oudomsine buying troves of packs, or individual cards? If the latter, which ones did he get? Fingers crossed all the juicy details will come out in discovery. (And yes, if you’re wondering, it is very easy to spend over $50,000 on even just one Pokémon card.)

Oudomsine is scheduled to appear in court this Thursday, Oct. 28. The wire fraud charge carries a max sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison and $250,000 in fines. 

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