COVID-19 has taken too many opportunities, lives, and money from people. In these dire times, the federal government came up with the idea that would help millions of Americans financially. There are various loan programs concerning COVID-19 that were launched. A loan is supposed to be used in urgent matters and the needs of an average American family or maintaining a business, but in this case, that is not what happened.
A COVID-19 relief loan was used by a man from Georgia to purchase a Pokemon card that was worth $57,000, two-thirds of his COVID-19 relief loan, according to The Associated Press.
The Dublin Man
A man from Dublin, Georgia named Vinath Oudomsine lied on an application for a COVID-19 pandemic economic relief loan, EIDL or Economic Injury Disaster Loan, about the number of people employed in his business and the company’s gross avenue. Oudomsine had received $85,000 in August of 2020.
However, five months later, prosecutors discovered that Oudomsine had used an enormous amount of the funds to purchase a Pokemon card. It was not stated what Pokemon card Oudomsine had purchased, but according to The Hill, a rare Pokemon card can sell for thousands of dollars. Collectors have been selling or trading cards, games, video games, and other valuable mementos online.
The EIDL Progam
According to U.S. SBA on their homepage, the COVID-19 EIDL program supports small businesses’ recovery from the COVID-19 disaster’s and economic impacts by providing accessible and borrower-friendly capital. The funds given were meant to be used as working capital or payment for rent and operating expenses. It was also stated that the EIDL is not eligible for forgiveness.
Oudomsine was arrested on Tuesday and now faces a charge of one count of wire fraud. According to the Telegraph, the charge carries a maximum of 20 years sentence in federal prison and a fine of $250,000, though the actual sentence is usually far less.