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Grand jury indicts North Tonawanda man for COVID-19 relief fraud and credit card fraud

Posted at 4:32 PM, Mar 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-10 16:33:00-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of New York says a grand jury has indicted a North Tonawanda man for with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft relating to COVID-19 relief money and credit cards.

50-year-old Michael Kornaker who was recently released from federal prison following a prior fraud conviction and was on supervised release, allegedly fraudulently applied for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), between June and August 2020.

Kornaker allegedly applied for $60,500 by using the name and personal information of another person and without that person’s permission.

Additionally, Kornaker allegedly fraudulently applied for an American Express credit card using the same person’s name and personal information and without their permission.

“As alleged in the indictment, the defendant’s conduct has demonstrated that he is a serial fraudster who will stop at nothing to fill his own pockets with money intended for those in need,” stated U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “Let this prosecution put the defendant and others like him on notice—we are paying attention, and if you commit fraud trying to enrich yourselves with money earmarked for those hardest hit by the pandemic, then the only return you should expect to receive is one from a federal grand jury in the form of an indictment.”

If convicted, Kornaker faces a minimum of two years in prison with a maximum of 20 years, and a $250,000 fine.