A Georgia man appeared in court documents accused of defrauding the government for thousands of dollars in COVID-19 relief money. Part of said money was placed in a bank account, and part was spent on one single Pokemon card. As you may have guessed, that Pokemon card was a 1st-edition Shadowless Charizard from the first US-released Pokemon TCG set with a 9.5 “gem mint” rating – for $57,789.
The court documents do not disclose the exact card purchased, but DO give the exact amount of cash spent on said card. As sleuthed by Polygon, a card auction with an ending bid matching the price quoted by court documents was, indeed, a Charizard. As shown on PWCC Marketplace, this Charizard was graded by Beckett as 9.5 gem mint, with grading code 0011532499. That’ll be handy if we ever want to discover the pathway of ownership for this card. Not that the card needed any more infamy, as several similar cards have sold quite recently for massive amounts of cash.
This card had an end bid on December 28, 2020. That lines up with the suggested purchase date of “on or about January 8, 2021.” This, as well as the rest of the fraud outlined by court documents this week, were “all done in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343.”
The base crime here was that the Georgia man allegedly presented false information in an Economic Injury Disaster Loans document intended for small businesses experiencing financial disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic. False and fraudulent representations are alleged to have been made by Vinath Oudomsine (also known as Georgia man), to the United States Small Business Administration.
Documents filed with case 3:21-cr-00013-DHB-BKE with the United States District Court, Southern District of Georgia, Dublin Division, can be found online via Law and Crime this week. If convicted of Wire Fraud, the defendant could face up to 20 years in prison, up to a $250k fine, and up to three years of supervised release.