Monetary loan

Georgia man used $ 57,000 in COVID-19 relief loan to buy Pokémon card, federal government says – KIRO 7 Seattle News


Catch them all? Federal prosecutors believe they caught a Georgian man who they say misused part of his COVID-19 loan.

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Vinath Oudomsine, of Dublin, is accused of using more than $ 57,000 to buy a rare Pokémon card, prosecutors said.

Oudomsin was indicted on Tuesday with one count of wire fraud, according to the South Georgia District Attorney’s Office, the Macon Telegraph reported. Prosecutors said Oudomsine lied about the number of employees he had and the income his business generated when he applied for an economic disaster loan during the pandemic, the newspaper reported.

If found guilty, Oudomsine faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and up to $ 250,000 in fines, prosecutors said.

Contacted Thursday, Oudomsine asked his lawyers questions, WMAZ reported. Defense attorneys declined to comment in a statement to McClatchy News.

Dublin is located approximately 80 km south-east of Macon in central Georgia.

According to prosecutors, Oudomsine filed for EIDL in July 2020 on behalf of a company. His claim said his company had 10 employees and gross sales of $ 235,000 over 12 months, according to The Telegraph. As a result, the Small Business Administration granted Oudomsine a loan of $ 85,000 on August 4, 2020.

SBA loans aim to help businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic by providing working capital. Business owners were allowed to use the money for payroll, production costs, debts, rents, and mortgage payments.

However, unlike Paycheck Protection Plan loans, EIDLs are not eligible for rebate.

Prosecutors allege that five months later, Udomsin used a large chunk of the loan to purchase a Pokémon card for $ 57,789, The Telegraph reported. It was not clear from the documents which Pokémon card had been purchased, the newspaper reported.

Pokémon cards always sell for high prices at auction, especially first edition cards. According to Dice Breaker, a first edition shadowless holographic PSA 10 Charizard in mint condition sold for $ 220,574 to retired rapper Logic at an auction in October 2020.

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

Earlier this year, the federal government estimated that the SBA had approved at least 3,000 EIDL loans to ineligible people, WMAZ reported.

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