The Rise of Pokemon Cards as Valuable Assets: US Government Acquires $58K Card through Seizure

The Seizure of a $58,000 Pokemon Card by US Marshals


The federal government has recently made headlines for an unexpected involvement with collectible cards. Although not officially entering the collectible card business, the US Marshals have recently seized a highly valuable Pokemon card worth nearly $58,000. The seizure took place as part of a case involving Vinath Oudomsine, a resident of Georgia, who was convicted of wire fraud. In this article, we will explore the details surrounding this intriguing incident and explore the implications it has for both the world of collectible cards and fraudulent activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Fraudulent Loan and Wire Fraud Conviction

Vinath Oudomsine, a 31-year-old Georgia resident, recently pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. This felony conviction stemmed from Oudomsine’s fraudulent application for a COVID-19 small business relief loan in July 2020. Despite claiming to run an entertainment services business with 10 employees, Oudomsine diverted a large portion of the $85,000 loan to purchase luxury items, including a highly coveted first-edition Pokemon card featuring the iconic character Charizard.

The Misuse of Relief Funds

The US Small Business Administration provides COVID-19 disaster relief loans to support struggling businesses during the ongoing pandemic. However, these funds are intended to be used for essential purposes such as paying employee salaries, not for indulging in luxury collectibles. Oudomsine’s fraudulent actions not only violated the terms of the loan but also undermined the purpose of these relief funds. As a consequence, he has been sentenced to three years in federal prison and has been ordered to pay nearly $100,000 in restitution.

The Value of the Charizard Pokemon Card

The seized Pokemon card, a holographic first-edition Charizard, holds immense value within the collectible card community. Regarded as one of the most sought-after cards in the Pokemon series, this particular Charizard card has garnered significant attention and high price tags at various auctions. Versions of the card that have been graded as Mint or Gem Mint by Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) have fetched hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past. Its rarity and cultural significance have contributed to its desirability among collectors worldwide.

The Auction and Funds Recovery

In an effort to recoup funds for taxpayers, the government has decided to auction off the fraudulently obtained items, including the Charizard card, confiscated from Oudomsine. By doing so, they aim to offset the financial losses incurred due to his wire fraud activities. The New York Times reported that the upcoming auction will include not only the Charizard card but also other luxury items purchased using the loan money. This unexpected turn of events has raised speculation among collectors about the potential impact on the collectible card market.


The seizure of a $58,000 Charizard Pokemon card by US Marshals in a case involving wire fraud has left both the collectible card community and the general public intrigued. This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of adhering to the intended purposes of government-issued relief funds, especially during times of crisis. The upcoming auction of the seized items marks an attempt by the government to recover funds and hold individuals accountable for fraudulent activities. As this story unfolds, it will undoubtedly have repercussions within the world of collectible cards and serve as a cautionary tale against misusing financial resources intended to aid struggling businesses.


1. What is wire fraud?

Wire fraud involves the use of electronic communications or interstate wires to carry out a fraudulent scheme. In this case, Vinath Oudomsine committed wire fraud by falsely obtaining a COVID-19 small business relief loan and diverting the funds for personal luxury purchases.

2. How much is the Charizard Pokemon card worth?

The value of the Charizard Pokemon card can vary depending on factors such as condition, grading, and rarity. Versions of the holographic first-edition Charizard card that have been graded as Mint or Gem Mint by PSA have reached prices in the hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction.

3. Will the auction impact the collectible card market?

The upcoming auction of fraudulently obtained items, including the Charizard card, has sparked curiosity within the collectible card community. While it is difficult to predict the exact impact on the market, the auction may generate increased interest and awareness among collectors.

4. How can fraudulent activities impact relief fund accessibility?

Fraudulent actions, such as diverting relief funds for personal use as demonstrated in this case, can undermine the accessibility of relief funds for legitimate businesses in need. It is essential to ensure that relief funds are utilized appropriately to support those most affected by crises.

5. What steps are being taken to prevent similar fraudulent activities?

To prevent similar fraudulent activities, government agencies and financial institutions employ robust verification processes when assessing loan applications. These processes aim to ensure that funds are allocated to businesses in genuine need and that misuse of funds is identified and addressed promptly.

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Doug I. Jones

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