A Georgia man has been charged for lying to the Small Business Association when he applied for a COVID-relief loan. Prosecutors said that Vinath Oudomsine inflated the number of people he employed and the gross income of his company when he filled out the application for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
Those loans were meant to help business owners cover payroll, sick leave, and other costs such as rent to help them stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.
Last August, officials approved a loan for Oudomsine and deposited $85,000 into his bank account. But, instead of using that money to cover his businesses expenses, Oudomsine spent over $57,000 to purchase a rare Pokémon card.
Prosecutors did not say what card Oudomsine bought with the business loan.
He was charged with one count of wire fraud and faces up to 20 years behind bars and a maximum fine of $250,000 if he is convicted.
Oudomsine has not entered a plea, and his attorneys have not commented on the case.
Earlier in the year, the federal government said that the SBA approved at least 3,000 loans to businesses and individuals who were ineligible. The fraudulent loans accounted for one-tenth of 1% of the $224 billion program.