A man from Georgia, USA, has been jailed for fraudulently using COVID-19 relief payments to buy a rare, shiny Charizard Pokémon card.
Polygon reported that Vinath Oudomsine (31 years old) pretended to own a small business to get an $85,000 Economic Injured Disaster Loan. The loan was then used to purchase the most part of the card.
The state has received the first-edition, shadowless and holographic Charizard (super rare, extremely shiny) for $57 789 in December.
Oudomsine pleaded guilty and was sentenced for fraud to three years imprisonment, three years of “supervised freedom” and a $10,000 fine.
Philip Wislar, Acting Special Agent in charge of FBI Atlanta said that COVID-19 disaster relief loans were issued by the government to assist businesses that are unable to survive during a crisis. They are not intended to be used for collectibles. This sentence highlights the FBI’s commitment to aggressively pursue anyone who would abuse taxpayer dollars and divert them from citizens who desperately need them.”
It's not the only recent Pokémon card related crime – someone reportedly broke through the wall of an independent gaming store in Minnesota last month and stole around $250,000 worth of products.
The thief allegedly cleared out two storage rooms of different Pokémon card items including booster boxes worth upwards of $100 each.
A similar incident also occurred in Tokyo last year when a man allegedly used a rope to descend into a store and steal Pokémon cards and cash.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer and occasionally remembers to tweet @thelastdinsdale