MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — A Morgantown man is accused of stealing nearly $500,000 by forging checks that belonged to a relative, federal prosecutors announced.

Jaynesh Patel, 40, was indicted Tuesday on charges of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Northern District of West Virginia, Patel used a relative’s identity to create fraudulent bank accounts and then forged checks to be deposited.

The suspected fraud occurred between June 2019 and October 2022, amounted to more than $450,000 stolen and happened in Harrison, Marion and Monongalia counties, the release said.

“Sadly, those who engage in white-collar crime are often related to their victims, and that is the case here,” United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld said in the release. “We will continue to make sure offenders are held to account and do everything within our power to recover the amount lost.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case, according to the release.

If he is found guilty, Patel faces up to 30 years of incarceration and a fine of up to $1 million for each of the three counts of bank fraud and faces up to two years of incarceration for each of the two counts of aggravated identity theft.