September 20 (CNNBreakingNews.net) — Federal prosecutors revealed criminal charges against 47 people on Tuesday, more than 250 To have stolen millions of US dollars from a government aid program that aims to help feed children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The US Department of Justice said that the program, which focused on the nonprofit organization Minnesota Feeding Our Future, was the largest fraud associated with pandemic relief programs uncovered so far. Feeding Our Future founder Aimee Bock, 41, is one of the defendants.
“This was a brazen plan of astonishing scale,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger said for the District of Minnesota in a statement. “These defendants used a program that was intended to provide nutritious food to children in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Feeding Our Future could not immediately be reached for comment.
Prosecutors say program participants have filed fraudulent documentation with a US Department of Agriculture funded program to provide meals for children in need, which was expanded during the pandemic. The USDA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
While they falsely claimed to use the money to buy groceries and operate distribution sites, the Defendants, including food service store owners and others, kept the money for themselves and spent it on luxury cars, real estate and jewelry, according to prosecutors.
Defendants set up dozens of shell companies to operate counterfeit food distribution sites and to launder the proceeds from According to the public prosecutor’s office.