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North Tonawanda man faces COVID-19 relief fraud charges

Michael Kornaker, 50, was charged by criminal complaint with wire fraud in relation to a national emergency, as well as aggravated identity theft.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

BUFFALO, N.Y. — U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced Tuesday that a North Tonawanda man has been charged with COVID-19 relief fraud.

Michael Kornaker, 50, was charged by criminal complaint with wire fraud in relation to a national emergency, as well as aggravated identity theft, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. 

U.S. Attorney Douglas A. C. Penrose, who is handling the case, alleges that between June and August 2020 Kornaker fraudulently applied for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Kornaker allegedly applied for the EIDL and was given $60,500 by allegedly using the name and personal information of another person, without their permission.

Penrose says that according to the complaint, Kornaker was recently released from prison following a "2017 federal conviction on mail fraud and tax evasion charges." Kornaker was said to be on a supervised release. 

Kornaker made an initial court appearance Tuesday and was detained. If found guilty, Kornaker faces a maximum penalty of 30 years and a $1,000,000 fine.