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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, September 20, 2022

The Justice Department announced charges against 47 people accused of stealing $250 million from a federal program designed to provide meals for needy children during the pandemic. According to the department, the scheme is the largest Covid-19-related fraud uncovered by investigators to date. The defendants are facing a range of charges, including conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, and paying and receiving illegal kickbacks. The defendants, prosecutors said, set up a network of shell companies connected to the Minnesota-based nonprofit Feeding our Future, to exploit the federal child nutrition program, which is designed to provide meals to children from low-income families. The program was expanded by Congress at the start of the pandemic to allow more organizations to participat "This was a brazen scheme of staggering proportions," said US Attorney Andrew M. Luger for the District of Minnesota.

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The Justice Department announced charges against 47 people accused of stealing $250 million from a federal program designed to provide meals for needy children during the pandemic

"According to prosecutors, the defendants used the proceeds of the scheme to buy real estate in Minnesota, Kenya and Turkey, luxury cars, jewelry, to fund international travel, and more."

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"The defendants went to great lengths to exploit a program designed to feed underserved children in Minnesota amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, fraudulently diverting millions of dollars designated for the program for their own personal gain. These charges send the message that the FBI and our law enforcement partners remain vigilant and will vigorously pursue those who attempt to enrich themselves through fraudulent means."

"The defendants created dozens of shell companies to enroll in the program as Federal Child Nutrition Program sites. The defendants also created shell companies to receive and launder the proceeds of their fraudulent scheme."

The government alleges the defendants "submitted fraudulent meal count sheets purporting to document the number of children and meals served at each site. The defendants submitted false invoices purporting to document the purchase of food to be served to children at the sites."

#1 | Posted by Nixon at 2022-09-21 07:02 AM | Reply

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