A Georgia man faces a charge of wire fraud after federal prosecutors say he spent over $57,000 he received from COVID-19 relief funds on something not for his business – a Pokémon card.
Vinath Oudomsine , of Dublin, falsely applied for money from the Economic Injury Disaster Loans – designed to help small businesses experiencing hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic – on July 14, 2020, according to court documents.
He claimed he was the sole owner of a business that brought in $235,000 in a 12-month span and had 10 employees. On Aug. 4, 2020, he received a deposit of $85,000 into his bank account.
Roughly five months later on or around January 8, prosecutors said Oudomsine spent $57,789 of funds deposited to help his business on a Pokémon card. The card was not described in court documents, and rare Pokémon cards can be worth hundreds of thousands.
The record price for any Pokémon card, has been set by us tonight, this @sgcgrading gold label charizard sold for $369,000 ..WE ARE ACCEPTING POKEMON CONSIGNMENTS please 1st edition cards only. Email email@example.com pic.twitter.com/bqliNhtKEg
— Goldin Auctions (@GoldinAuctions) December 13, 2020
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Oudomsine faces up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines if convicted. His defense lawyers declined a USA TODAY request for comment.
This isn't the first report of someone falsely obtaining COVID relief funds and spending the money lavishly.
Last month, "Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta" star Maurice Fayne, also known as Arkansas Mo, was sentenced to 17 and a half years in prison for charges involving a fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program loan application.
Prosecutors said he spent money supposed to be used to retain workers for his business on past due child support, $85,000 on custom jewelry and $136,000 to lease a Rolls-Royce.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Georgia man spent $57K of COVID relief funds on Pokémon card