Pokémon Cards: Man Sent to Prison for Using COVID Relief Funds to Buy Shiny Charizard

A Georgia, USA man has been jailed for fraudulently using COVID-19 relief payments to buy a rare. Shiny Charizard Pokémon card.

According to PolygonVinat Udomsin, 31, pretended to be a small business owner to get an $85,000 disaster loan and then spent most of that amount on a card.

In December, a first edition colorless holographic Charizard (super rare, super shiny) was purchased for $57,789. It has now been donated to the government.


Udomsin pleaded guilty to fraud and was sentenced to three years in prison, followed by three years of “supervised release” and a $10,000 fine and paying off the loan.

Acting FBI Atlanta Special Agent Philip Wislar said: “The government is issuing COVID-19 disaster relief loans to help businesses struggling to survive during the pandemic. Not to be used for trivial collectibles. This proposal underscores the FBI’s commitment to prosecuting anyone aggressively. Who misuses taxpayer dollars and diverts it from citizens who desperately need it.”

This isn’t the only recent crime involving Pokémon cards. Last month, someone reportedly breached the wall of an independent game store in Minnesota. Stole about $250,000 worth of merchandise.

The thief allegedly cleared two pantries of various Pokémon card items, including booster boxes worth over $100 each.

A similar incident happened in Tokyo last year when a man allegedly used a rope to climb down to a store and steal Pokémon cards and cash.


Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer who occasionally tweets @thelastdinsdale.

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