- US attorney charges 47 defendants for their alleged involvement in a fraud scheme.
- The Feeding Our Future fraud scheme was worth $250 million.
- It is considered one of the largest pandemic relief frauds.
The US Attorney announces federal charges against 47 defendants in a fraud scheme. The charges are for the alleged involvement of the defendants in a $250 million fraud scheme.
The fraud scheme manipulated the funds of the federally funded child nutrition program, which prevailed during the COVID-19 pandemic period.
Addressing the media, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said:
These indictments, alleging the largest pandemic relief fraud scheme charged to date, underscore the Department of Justice’s sustained commitment to combating pandemic fraud and holding accountable those who perpetrate it.
Christopher Wray, the FBI Director, stated that the fraud scheme is one of the most heinous plans to steal the funds of the public. He added that the funds were meant to aid the children in need during the pandemic era. The fraud scheme was also branded as one of the largest pandemic relief fraud schemes ever.
The 47 defendants are accused of conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, and bribery in six different indictments and three criminal information. Funds worth millions of dollars that were meant to cover the expense of feeding kids were accessed, taken, and laundered by the defendants.
The criminal charges by the United States Department of Justice state that the defendants used the funds to enrich themselves by misappropriating millions of dollars from the children’s fund.
To loot the funds, the defendants also curated fake documentation of meal count sheets and invoices.
A total of more than 250 locations were opened by Feeding Our Future throughout the state of Minnesota, and $240 million in Federal Child Nutrition Program cash was unlawfully obtained and distributed.