A Tompkins County man is accused of getting COVID-19 relief payments to which he was not entitled.

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Federal prosecutors say 58-year-old Ejembi Onah of Ithaca is charged with federal counts of wire fraud and money laundering for collecting $150,000 in Paycheck Protection Program loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans for two companies he controlled.

Officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern New York District alleged Onah obtained government-backed loans intended for businesses struggling with the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic through fraudulent tax documents and fabricated bank statements between April of last year and March 3 of this year.

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If convicted of wire fraud, he faces up to 30 years in prison and up to 10 years in prison if convicted of engaging in transfers of wire fraud proceeds greater than $10,000 in value.

Onah made his first appearance in Federal Court in Binghamton on Wednesday, April 7 and was released to wait for his next court date.

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