DOJ Charges 47 People With Stealing $250 Million From Child Nutrition Program
The Department of Justice charged 47 people in Minnesota with allegedly stealing $250 million from a federal program that provides meals to low-income students—the largest in a string of massive alleged fraud schemes involving COVID-19 pandemic relief funds.
Prosecutors say Aimee Bock, the executive director of an organization called Feeding Our Future, oversaw the scheme and recruited people to open more than 250 Federal Child Nutrition Program sites throughout Minnesota. The DOJ says the defendants claimed to be serving meals to thousands of children a day just after the nutrition sites were formed, but in reality, they created shell companies to enroll in the program and to receive and launder the proceeds using false documentation.
“Today’s indictments describe an egregious plot to steal public funds meant to care for children in need in what amounts to the largest pandemic relief fraud scheme yet,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement.
Last year, the Secret Service estimated fraudsters had stolen as much as $100 billion of the roughly $3.5 trillion administered in Covid-19 relief funding since the start of the pandemic in early 2020.