A Georgia man lied in his application for federal coronavirus relief aid and then used the majority of the money he obtained to buy a Pokemon card, federal prosecutors say.
The charges allege that Vinath Oudomsine made false statements about the number of employees at his company and his company's gross revenue when he applied for small business aid through the CARES Act in July 2020.
The following month, the Small Business Administration deposited $85,000 in his bank account.
Federal prosecutors say Oudomsine used a majority of that money — $57,789 — to buy a Pokemon card.
Those loans, meant for small businesses impacted by the pandemic, can be used for expenses such as payroll, sick leave, production costs, debt and rent or mortgage payments. But prosecutors say Oudomsine "unjustly enriched himself."
Authorities didn't say which Pokemon card Oudomsine allegedly bought with the federal funds, but rare Pokemon cards have been known to fetch tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars upon resale.
The two defense attorneys representing Oudomsine declined to comment for this story.
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
Your support matters.
You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.