A Georgia man didn't make the very best use of his COVID-19 relief money, according to prosecutors — and he's now headed to prison.
31-year-old Vinath Oudomsine has been sentenced to 36 months in prison after admitting he used nearly $60,000 in COVID-19 relief funds to buy a Pokémon card, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Georgia. He pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.
Oudomsine applied for a COVID-19 relief loan from the Small Business Administration, supposedly for an "entertainment services" business, and he received $85,000, prosecutors said. But he allegedly lied on the application and spent $57,789 of the relief money he received to buy a Charizard card.
Oudomsine was ordered to pay restitution of $85,000, and he was fined $10,000 and given three years of supervised release after his prison sentence is completed. He also agreed to forfeit the card.
"Congress appropriated funding to assist small businesses struggling through the challenges of a global pandemic," U.S. Attorney David H. Estes said. "Like moths to the flame, fraudsters like Oudomsine took advantage of these programs to line their own pockets — and with our law enforcement partners, we are holding him and others accountable for their greed."