WTF?! Covid loans were meant to help keep businesses afloat throughout the worst of the pandemic. For one Georgia resident, however, most of the money he received—$57,000—went toward buying a single Pokémon card.
According to federal prosecutors (via The Telegraph), Vinath Oudomsine, from Dublin, Georgia, applied for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for his small business, which employed ten other people and had gross revenue of $235,000 over 12 months. His application was successful, and he received $85,000.
But authorities say Oudomsine lied about the number of employees at the business and the amount of revenue it generated. He's also said to have spent $57,789 of the funds on buying a Pokémon card five months after receiving the money. Prosecutors didn’t reveal specifically which pricey card Oudomsine splashed out on, but according to Dice Breaker, that amount would make it one of the ten most expensive Pokémon card purchases of all time.
For those wondering, the most expensive Pokémon card ever sold was a 1999 First Edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard (below) that sold for $369,000 in December 2020.
Oudomsine has been charged with one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison and $250,000 in fines.
Demand for collectible cards has skyrocketed in 2021. It led to Target briefly halting sales of Pokémon, MLB, NFL, and NBA playing cards earlier this year, while police in Missouri and Illinois are investigating recent burglaries at gaming stores that involved the theft of Pokémon and Magic: The Gathering cards.