A Pokemon fan has landed in hot water after United States prosecutors claim they spent over $57,000 worth of relief funds on a rare Pokemon Trading Card Game collectible.
In 1998, no one could have predicted that the Pokemon TCG would one day see an explosion in popularity and value. Decades later, the pieces of Nintendo cardboard can now sell for as much as a house. This has had led some unsavory individuals to do whatever it takes to get their hands on the booming market, from scalpers buying up all the children’s meals at McDonalds to criminals willing to rob card players.
However, one man may take the crown for the worst of all. According to federal prosecutors, a businesses owner allegedly falsified records to steal thousand of dollars worth of pandemic relief funds just so he could buy a single card.
Man accused of spending $57,000 relief funds on Pokemon card
The whole world was gripped by a global health crisis in 2020. As a way to help out struggling businesses impacted, the government offered store owners a Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
According to a report by Georgia news outlet 13WMAZ, one owner has been accused of misspending their EIDL on a rare Pokemon card. In a document filed with the Georgia courts, the individual is said to have spent over $57,000 of his $85,000 relief loan on a single TCG item.
In the filing, feds claim that the owner applied for the emergency relief funds in 2020, and detailed a business with payroll 10 employees that didn’t actually exist. The Nintendo collector is being charged with wire fraud.
Prosecutors: Dublin man used COVID loan on $57,000 Pokémon card https://t.co/gi0VY4SNiY
— 13WMAZ News (@13wmaznews) October 21, 2021
At the time of writing, the Georgia State Attorney’s office has yet to comment on which Pokemon card the individual is to have bought. Given that a handful of retro TCG items now sell for as high as $400k, it could be anything.
It’s also unclear whether the business owner was a scalper trying to buy an expensive collectible to flip, or just a really avid fan of the Game Freak series. Regardless, this is just another example of the great lengths people will go to get their hands on Trading Card Game items.