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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Monday, May 14, 2018

Florida Man Sentenced On Mail Fraud And Tax Evasion Charges

CONTACT:  Barbara Burns
PHONE:      (716) 843-5817
FAX #:         (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Michael Kornaker, 47, of North Tonawanda, NY, who was convicted of mail fraud and tax evasion, was sentenced to 28 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. The defendant was also ordered to pay restitution totaling $602,052.19.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross, who handled the case, stated that between June 2014 and April 9, 2016, the defendant devised a scheme to defraud insurance companies which were holding unclaimed funds. The funds were advertised on a website belonging to the California State Controller’s Office.

Specifically, Kornaker sent documentation of entitlement to unclaimed funds to the victim companies using false and fraudulent identities, including the name “Vinnie Sciarrino,” and entities, including “Insurance Marketing Resources.” Any funds received from victim companies were deposited into bank accounts maintained by the defendant.

In addition, between June 11, 2015, and November 9, 2015, Kornaker made a claim for unclaimed property held by Jackson National Life Insurance Company using the names Vinnie Sciarrino and Insurance Marketing Resources.

As part of the scheme to defraud, the defendant identified at least 113 companies and submitted fraudulent documentation to change the entity’s mailing address to addresses under his control in the Western District of New York. As a result, the defendant was paid approximately $450,000 in funds to which he was not entitled and owes the IRS $155,859 for tax years 2014 and 2015, as a result of his failure to claim the income he earned from the fraud.

Today’s sentencing is the result of an investigation by the United States Postal Service Inspection Service, Boston Division, under the direction of Acting Inspector-in- Charge Delany E. De Leon-Colon; the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge James D. Robnett; and the New York State Department of Financial Services, Criminal Investigations Unit, under the direction of Superintendent Maria T. Vullo.

Updated May 15, 2018