Man spends $57K of COVID relief on Pokémon card, faces prosecution

Dublin, Georgia man Vinath Oudomsineman spends $57K of COVID relief on Pokémon card, faces prosecution for wire fraud

Vinath Oudomsine of Dublin, Georgia has been charged with one count of wire fraud, per The Telegraph, “after the government said he lied about how many employees he had and the revenue his business generated in an application for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan” during the pandemic. The Small Business Administration had granted Oudomsine an $85,000 loan in August 2020 based on information he had provided for economic relief from COVID, but this past January, Oudomsine spent $57,789 of the funds to purchase an unspecified Pokémon card. Traditionally, when your business is hurting, you don’t spend $57,789 on a Pokémon card.

The wire fraud charge that Vinath Oudomsine faces comes with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, though it is likely he will receive a much less severe sentence than that. Still, when you spend that much money of COVID relief on a Pokémon card while lying about the actual state of your business, there needs to be consequences.

Pokémon cards have exploded in value in the past few years, with a few carrying extraordinary prices, like the Pikachu Illustrator card that sold for somewhere approaching $250,000 last year. However, even a mint-condition Base Set Charizard can sell for tens of thousands of dollars, with mint first-edition shadow-less Charizards selling for more than $300,000. Don’t go spending your COVID relief on one though (or rappelling down a building for them).


John Friscia
Head Copy Editor for Enthusiast Gaming, Managing Editor at The Escapist. I'm a writer who loves Super Nintendo and Japanese role-playing games to an impractical degree. I really miss living in South Korea. And I'm developing the game Boss Saga!