USA: Millionaire fraud in child nutrition program due to the pandemic

The United States Department of Justice charged 47 people in Minnesota on Tuesday for allegedly defrauding $250 million from a federal child nutrition program during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19.

The attorney general of the United States, Merrick Garland, assured in a statement that it is the largest fraud scheme detected so far in relation to the pandemic.

Through the NGO Feeding Our Future, the defendants received millions of dollars from the Federal Child Nutrition Program that they used to enrich themselves instead of feeding children.

The US Attorney’s Office accuses them of different crimes depending on their participation in the plot, including conspiracy, electronic fraud, money laundering and bribery.

Feeding Our Future, founded by defendant Aimee Marie Bock, opened more than 250 bogus food delivery points throughout the state of Minnesota to enroll in the program and fraudulently obtain millions of dollars in federal funding.

One of the establishments falsely claimed that it fed 5,000 children a day. These resources, in fact, were used to pay for international travel, buy luxury vehicles and acquire properties in the states of Minnesota, Ohio and Kentucky, as well as in Kenya and Turkey.

The NGO took advantage of the fact that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Department of Agriculture relaxed the requirements to provide aid for child nutrition.

Feeding Our Future went from receiving $3.4 million in 2019 to nearly $200 million in 2021.

“The Justice Department will continue to bring to justice those who have taken advantage of the pandemic for personal gain and stolen from the American taxpayer,” the attorney general warned.

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