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Man Embezzles $57K in COVID-19 Relief to Buy Pokemon Cards

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  • A businessman in Georgia utilized the Covid-19 relief to buy a limited edition Charizard Pokemon card 
  • He committed fraud in the application for relief by lying about the revenue of his company and the number of its employees 
  • He might face a maximum of 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines if convicted. 
  • PSA 10 Charizard Pokemon Card is one of the highest-paid auctions  

COVID-19’s economic consequences are still affecting some people more than others. Since the outbreak began last year, people are likely to report that they or a household member has lost their job or taken a pay cut. Some are more likely to say they’ve taken on debt or put off paying their bills to make up for lost wages or salaries. 

You’re not alone if your spending and saving habits have changed as a result of the pandemic. The economic impact of COVID-19 has been greater than anything seen since the Great Depression. Many people have witnessed severe financial changes due to unemployment, reduced pay, business closures, and stay-at-home orders. 

Because consumer spending has decreased since the outbreak, several people have found themselves contributing more to their savings than previously. Others, however, have been forced to adapt their budgets due to high unemployment and reduced incomes, perhaps preceding savings to meet immediate requirements such as food and shelter. However, it is self-evident that the poor have suffered more from the advent of the covid virus than those who are financially able. 

The United Nations recently has stated Covid-19 as the biggest intervention the world has ever faced. The extreme utilization of the government’s emergency resources and even in other countries is an effective measure in slowing down the spread of the virus. 

However, this story of a man in Georgia who embezzled the covid loan has uproared the public by abusively spending it on famous pokemon cards for collection.  

Do you have to get them all? According to reports, federal authorities in Georgia have apprehended a man accused of misusing some of his COVID-19 loan funds. 

A man who we’ll simply refer to as V.O. is claimed to have spent more than $57,000 on a rare Pokemon card that he obtained from a third party. 

On Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia charged V.O. with one count of wire fraud. As reported by the newspaper, prosecutors claim Oudomsine lied about his company’s revenue and the number of employees when applying for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan during the pandemic. 

Prosecutors say Mr. O could face up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines if convicted.  According to the station, when approached by WMAZ on Thursday, V.O. sent all questions to his legal team. Defense attorneys issued a statement to McClatchy News in which they declined to comment further on the case. 

In central Georgia, Dublin is located about 50 miles southeast of Macon. Prosecutors claim that V.O. filed an EIDL application on behalf of a business in July 2020. He stated in his application that his company had 10 employees and generated $235,000 in revenue over a year. Consequently, the SBA gave VO an $85,000 loan on Aug. 4, 2020, as a result. 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides working capital loans to businesses to assist them in dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak. The business owners could use the money to cover payroll, production costs, debts, rents, and mortgage payments, among other things. Due to this, EIDLs are not eligible for forgiveness like Paycheck Protection Plan loans. 

V.O. is accused of using a large portion of the loan to buy a Pokemon card for $57,789 five months later, according to The Telegraph. Pokemon cards were not listed in the filings, according to a newspaper report. 

When it comes to auctions, first-edition Pokemon cards are still highly sought after. It was reported that a first-edition shadowless-holographic PSA 10 Charizard in mint condition sold for $220,574 to rapper Logic, according to Dice Breaker’s database. 

According to the website, a Shadowless Charizard that was auctioned off sold for $350,100, and another Shadowless Charizard that was sold by Goldin Auctions for $369,000 was also sold. 

This is where it all started. With recent sales of PSA 10 variations surpassing $300k, these retailed for approximately $10,000 just five years ago. That felt like a lot of money at the time, but it looks like chump change now, right? 

Regardless of wasted possibilities, the iconic design can instantly transport any grown-up back to their childhood. It’s the ideal nostalgic Charizard Pokémon card, and every lucky collector should be proud to acquire one. 

The highest auction price in history ever paid for a PSA GEM-MT 10 Charizard from the 1999 Pokemon Base Set. This card is the Pokemon TCG equivalent of Mickey Mantle’s 1952 Topps or Michael Jordan’s 1986-87 Fleer #57. Charizard, a legendary 1999 1st Edition Base Set card, has the most hit points and a more powerful strike than any other card from that first release.  

Thanks to artist Mitsuhiro Arita, it rapidly became the most wanted card in the set due to its power and memorable imagery. Even though the artwork has been reused in other sets, when it comes to highly sought-after Pokémon cards, this Base Set release is always the first to spring to mind. 

This card is equivalent to a legendary treasure in the eyes of pokemon fans. Those who collect pokemon cards are willing to pay a premium to acquire this extremely limited card and retain it as part of their collection. That V.O. did not hesitate to obtain this thing without a second thought is evident. 

According to the federal government, at least 3,000 EIDL loans were given to people who were not eligible, WMAZ reported earlier this year. 

Can you imagine the fraud committed by some people who might use these supposed to be help from the government for these trying times? 

Who knows, maybe this legendary Pokemon card is right in front of your eyes, and you have the opportunity to obtain it. You may have to think twice as well. 

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