The United States Justice Department continues to prosecute people who fraudulently obtained and used PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loans that were meant to help struggling businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. A new press release reveals several luxury items that were bought with PPP funds, and one man spent most of his money on a single Pokémon card.
Vinath Oudomsine of Georgia has been charged with spending $57,789 of his PPP loan on a single Pokémon card. The cost was more than two-thirds of the federal aid he received, which was obtained based on false information.
One man has been charged with using his funds to purchase a $318,000 Lamborghini, while another man has been charged with spending his PPP money on strippers. A federal watchdog revealed this month that the Small Business Administration overpaid $4.5 billion in grants to self-employed people, and that “no system of controls was in place to flag applications with flawed or illogical information.”
There were even claims of up to 1 million employees. The SBA Inspector General has concluded that the SBA rushed out billions of dollars in loans through the PPP program, “at the expense of controls” that could have blocked inappropriate aid.
Oudomsine is accused of applying for a PPP loan on July 14th, 2020, for a business that he said had 10 employees, with revenue of $235,000 over a year. The loan was approved, and Oudomsine received a deposit of $85,000 from the SBA in August 2020.
Regarding the Pokémon card, Oudomsine allegedly purchased the item on or about January 8th of this year, several months after he received the loan.
The SBA on Sunday blamed the administration of former President Trump, and called Oudomsine’s case “another example of the fraud that resulted from their lax controls.”
An attorney for Oudomsine declined to comment on the case. The defendant has yet to enter a plea for the wire-fraud charge, according to court records.
Do you know anyone who received a PPP loan, and do you know if they used the funds for a legitimate business? Let us know in the comments below!
(HT to TWP)