North Tonawanda Man Indicted for COVID-19 Fraud
A Federal Grand Jury has indicted a man on multiple charges, including fraud related to funds to help those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It's being reported by WKBW that Michael Kornaker of North Tonawanda is facing charges of wire fraud and identity theft.
According to the criminal indictment, the 50-year-old North Tonawanda man illegally applied for a $60,000 Economic Injury Disaster Loan through the Federal Small Business Administration last summer using the name and personal information that belonged to another person. In addition to that, it's alleged that Mr. Kornaker used that same person's information to apply for an American Express credit card.
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... 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.
-James P. Kennedy, US Attorney for the Western District of New York
Kornaker could spend the next 20 years in federal prison if he is convicted of all of the crimes that he is accused of.
If these accusations are true, it's truly a shame. The EIDL program is around to help people and businesses who are suffering from COVID-19 and every fraudulent loan or grant that goes out is one less for someone who really deserves it.