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Prosecutors charge 47 ‘pandemic fraudsters’ who fled children’s charity against hunger

Prosecutors charge 47 ‘pandemic fraudsters’ who fled hunger charities to buy commercial property, luxury cars, fancy homes and even a coastal property in Kenya

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Prosecutors have charged 47 people in connection with a multimillion-dollar scheme to steal money from anti-hunger programs during the pandemic — spending their ill-gotten gains on luxury items.

The lawsuit filed in Minnesota alleges the group stole $240 million by billing the government for meals for children that did not exist.

It is believed to be the largest fraud claim uncovered in any pandemic aid program to date.

Court documents allege the co-conspirators were ‘bold’ in their demands on the government.

One of the defendants said he fed 5,000 children a day in a second-story apartment in Minnesota.

The indictment names Aimee Bock, executive director of the non-profit Feeding Our Future, as part of the federal investigation into the fraud.

The scheme allegedly pulled in millions of dollars a week because officials relied on Bock to act as a ‘watchdog’ to stop the fraud.

Bock, 41, has denied allegations against her and defended herself and her now-defunct organization in previous interviews.

She appeared in the federal courthouse Tuesday morning and is one of 47 people involved in six indictments and charging documents.

Feeding Our Future would provide the Minnesota Department of Education with reports on the number of meals their contractors served.

These reports would then be sent to the federal government for compensation and the money would be passed on to its contractors.

During the pandemic, when schools and free meals were shut down, reimbursements soared to millions a month.

Feeding Our Future received $3.4 million in federal food aid money in 2019, $43 million in 2020 and $198 million in 2021.

Bock is accused in the indictment of overseeing a ‘massive scheme to defraud’ and submitting the reports despite knowing they were fraudulent.

Well-known restaurateurs and former Minneapolis political appointees are also involved in the fraudulent plot.

This is a development story