When you think of those who collect Pokemon cards, the United States government is among the last you'll ever imagine getting into it. But as it turns out, the most powerful entity in the free world finds itself entrenched in this craze when a graded first-edition Charizard card fell on their lap.
31y/o Vinath Oudomsine from Dublin, GA, has been jailed for fraudulently using COVID-19 relief payments to buy a rare, shiny $57,789 Charizard Pokémon card.
The card has now been handed over to the state. pic.twitter.com/X6KJMzFR7E
— Everything Georgia (@GAFollowers) March 8, 2022
Earlier this month, Vinath Oudomsine was sentenced to three years in prison after he applied for a COVID-19 relief loan and used a chunk of it to purchase First Edition Charizard Holo card encased in a BGS 9.5 slab. The price? Well, the 31-year old from Dublin, Georgia just splurged $57,789 on the graded Pokemon card.
Oudomsine applied for the said loan sometime July in 2020 with the reason that he had an entertainment services business with 10 employees to support. His application was then granted and the entrepreneur received a total of $85,000 from the federal government. Oudomsine then used $57,000 from that amount to purchase the graded Pokemon card. On the flipside, however, the claim of having 10 employees and a gross revenue of $235,000 from his business were proven by prosecutors to be false.
After being convicted, the ownership of the card has now passed on to the US Marshalls Service, Xavier Cunningham, the assistant attorney involved in the prosecution said. He added that the graded Pokemon card would be put up for auction and the proceeds will be put into a seized-assets fund by the Justice Department. The money will then be returned to the Small Business Administration after the auction has been completed.
While the hype for Pokemon cards, especially the graded first-editions, continue to rise, there isn't enough reason to go beyond the confines of the law to get one. Just ask Oudomsine about his experience and his present predicament will convince anyone to invest in these cards the right way.