Man Spends SBA Funds on $58K Pokemon Card

Unfortunately for the accused, this wasn’t an approved use of pandemic relief funds.

Another day, another story about pandemic relief fund fraud… except this one has a unique twist.

A Georgia man has been accused of fraudulently obtaining $85,000 in relief funds for an unnamed business that prosecutors say he misrepresented -- inflating its size and number of employees in his application.

You can guess then, probably, that the man -- Vinath Oudomsine -- didn’t use the money as intended once he received it. And boy didn’t he.

Prosecutors are alleging blew more than two-thirds of the money he received -- or, $58,000 -- on a single Pokemon card.

For those of you not familiar, Pokemon is a Nintendo video game character whose brand has expanded into an Anime series, films and a widely popular trading card game. In fact, the card game has become the most well-known trading game ever, with more than 34 billion cards sold, some of the rarest netting high sales prices.

Assuming this was one of those cards is safe; unfortunately for the accused, this wasn’t an approved use of the federal government’s pandemic relief funds.

As reported by Business Insider, “federal attorneys said Oudomsine could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.” 

The Small Business Administration, who oversaw the program, was quick to point the finger at the Trump administration, saying the fraud cases “resulted from their lax controls.”

The aid was rolled out in spring of 2020, and was meant to help the owners of small businesses cover the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. A report issued recently by Hannibal Ware, the SBA’s inspector general, claimed that the $20 billion program issued fraudulent payments of about $4.5 billion. He recommended that the federal government attempt to reclaim the misspent funds. 

“You gotta catch em all!”


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