For the last few years, everyone has collectively been in a tight spot due to the pandemic’s effect on the economy.
To chew back at the impact, the United States government began offering relief loans for small businesses to keep their doors open.
In 2021, a man by the name of Vinath Oudomsine applied for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), claiming he had a business providing entertainment services, 10 employees, and gross revenue of $235k.
With this information, the Small Business Administration (SBA) deposited $85k into Oudomsine’s bank account.
Oudomsine then used $57,789 of the $85k to purchase a rare Charizard Pokemon card.
Oudomsine was caught and arrested and eventually pleaded guilty to wire fraud.
He was sentenced to 36 months in prison, fined $10k, ordered to pay $85k in restitution and forfeit the Pokemon card.
“COVID-19 disaster relief loans are issued by the government to help businesses struggling to survive during a pandemic, not to use for trivial collectible items,” Acting Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta Philip Wislar said.
“The SBA Office of Inspector General continues to safeguard taxpayer dollars by protecting SBA programs from fraudsters seeking to gain access to pandemic assistance through deception,” SBA OIG’s Special Agent in Charge Amaleka McCall-Brathwaite said.
“OIG remains committed to rooting out bad actors and protecting the integrity of SBA programs.”
Rumor is, it was this 1999 Base Set 1st Edition with a 9.5 GEM MINT rating sold on PPWC Marketplace on December 28, 2020.
Regardless of which one it is exactly, the United States government is now the owner of a Charizard Pokemon card.