Georgia man sentenced 36 months for buying rare Charizard Pokémon card with COVID-19 relief loan

DUBLIN, Ga. — A Georgia man was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison after admitting he spent more than $57,000 on a rare Pokémon card with a COVID-19 relief loan, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

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Vinath Oudomsine, 31, of Dublin, Georgia, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia David. H. Estes. Oudomsine was fined $10,000 in addition to repaying the $85,000 loan.

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The Justice Department said that Oudomsine claimed to have an “entertainment services” business with 10 employees in an application for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan with the Small Business Administration. He received $85,000 from the SBA, of which he spent $57,789 on a rare Charizard card.

The card was also forfeited during the investigation.

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“Congress appropriated funding to assist small businesses struggling through the challenges of a global pandemic,” Estes said. “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.”

Charizard has long been a highly sought-after card for collectors. A mint-condition, first-edition shadowless holographic PSA 10 Charizard sold for $220,574 to retired rapper Logic during an auction in October 2020, according to Dice Breaker.

That record was broken in November 2020 after a copy of the Shadowless Charizard sold at auction for $350,100, and another copy was sold by Goldin Auctions for $369,000, the website reported.

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