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Prosecutors: Dublin man used COVID loan on $57,000 Pokémon card

Prosecutors say Vinath Oudomsine was supposed to use $85,000 in COVID-relief funds to save jobs, but spent most of it on a $57,000 Pokémon card instead.
Credit: AP

DUBLIN, Ga. — Editor's note: The photo shows different Pokémon cards, not the unnamed one mentioned in the story.

Federal prosecutors say a Dublin man was supposed to use $85,000 in COVID relief funds to save jobs.

Instead, they say, he spent most of it on a $57,000 Pokémon card.

A document filed this week in Dublin's federal court accuses Vinath Oudomsine of wire fraud.

It does not describe Oudomsine's business, but it says he falsely applied last year for a federal Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).

Those federally-backed Small Business Administration loans are aimed at helping businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Business owners could use the money for payroll, production costs, debts, rents, mortgage payments and more.

In July 2020, the court document says, Oudomsine applied for a EIDL loan. His application says he'd owned a business since 2018, that he had 10 employees, and their revenues for the past year totaled $235,000.

That was false, prosecutors say, and instead of supporting a business, Oudomsine spent $57,789 on a Pokémon card. The document doesn't describe the card.

Earlier this year, the federal government estimated that the SBA approved at least 3,000 EIDL loans to people who were ineligible -- for example, businesses that don't exist.

That's less than one-tenth of 1% of the $224 billion loan program.

Oudomsine faces up to 20 years in federal prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

When contacted on Thursday, he referred questions to his attorneys, who did not return our phone call.

Barry Paschal, the spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Savannah, says prosecutors can't release any further information on the case.