A shiny Charizard spelled destruction for one reckless man.
When Covid-19 first struck the world, it caused a lot of financial destruction to many. One way governments try to help people who faced a loss of essential finances and security was to create business loan programs for those who needed the assistance. One man decided to use this opportunity to his own Charizard advantage, but he was unaware what it would cost him.
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31-Year-old Vinath Oudomsine fooled the government and applied for a $85 thousand economic injury loan. The report was first released by Polygon, Oudomsine did not have any business to repair and used the money to purchase a rare 1st edition Pokémon Charizard card. The card which was super rare and was a super shiny edition was purchased for $57,789. Instead of holding on to the card for fun and prosperity, the card is now in the hands of the state of Georgia.
Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect Your Charizard
Oudomsine, who was arrested for the Charizard scam, plead guilty to fraud and was given three years in prison, three years of supervised release and an $10,000 fine along with paying back the $85 grand. For Oudomsine, it looks like the reward was less great than the risk. Special Agent In Charge Of FBI Atlanta, Philip Wislar had this to say about the crimes of fraudulent loans.
“COVID-19 disaster relief loans are issued by the government to help businesses struggling to survive during a pandemic, not to use for trivial collectible items. 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.”
Even now in 2022, people are still working to find their way back to a financial ground as COVID cases are going down and it doesn’t help when money that can be a saving grace to someone is usurp to someone with greedy fingers. Crimes involving Pokémon cards have continued to rise as a store in Minnesota was robbed in February of about $250,000 worth of goods. A similar crime was reported in Tokyo where a man using a rope to steal Pokémon cards and cash.
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