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Press Release

North Tonawanda Man Pleads Guilty To COVID-19 Relief Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051
BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Michael Kornaker, 50, of North Tonawanda, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to wire fraud and violation of supervised release. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas A. C. Penrose, who is handling the case, stated that between June and August 2020, shortly after being released on supervised release from federal prison following a prior fraud conviction, Kornaker fraudulently applied for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The EIDL program provides funds to small businesses or private, non-profit organizations that suffer substantial economic injury as a result of a declared disaster, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Kornaker applied for $60,500 by using the name and personal information of another person and without that person’s permission.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Thomas Fattorusso.

Sentencing is scheduled for November 30th at 12:30 p.m. before Judge Arcara.

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Updated July 28, 2022