The Justice Department has unveiled criminal charges against 47 defendants who allegedly cheated the federal government from $250 million which was said to be accustomed to feed needy kids in Minnesota throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The DOJ stated indictments allege “the biggest pandemic relief fraud plan billed up to now.”
The indictments announced Tuesday involve six groups, all attached to the group Feeding Our Future, a Minnesota nonprofit. The defendants are billed with federal crimes, including conspiracy, wire fraud, money washing and having to pay and receiving illegal kickbacks.
“More than a short time, these 47 defendants involved in a brazen plan of staggering proportions,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger stated throughout a news briefing.
The DOJ contends that defendant Aimee Bock of Apple Valley Minnesota was the mastermind behind the plot. Bock may be the founder and executive director of Feeding Our Future, which really did serve federally funded meals to underserved kids within the Twin Metropolitan areas before the pandemic. Based on the DOJ, Bock employed other people to produce fake sites and falsely claim these were feeding needy children under her group’s sponsorship.
Records reveal that Feeding Our Future went from receiving and disbursing roughly $3.4 million in federal funds in 2019 to almost $200 million in 2021.
The defendants used the proceeds of the fraudulent plan, based on the DOJ, to buy luxury vehicles, to finance worldwide travel and also to buy commercial and residential property in Minnesota, Ohio and Kentucky as well as in Kenya and Poultry.