Feeding the Fraudster

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Full paper bag of different health food on rustic wooden background. Top view. Flat lay

Aimee Bock was the founder and executive director of Feeding Our Future, a nonprofit organization that was a sponsor in the Federal Child Nutrition Program (the federal food aid program established under the CARES Act). But prosecutors allege that aside from the façade as a food distribution organization focused on children in need, the organization was actually a massive scheme that defrauded the government of over $250 million.

The indictments say Feeding Our Future opened more than 250 meal distribution sites, but consistently filled out government documents using names of phantom children, accepted bribes and kickbacks from food sites, and laundered money through shell corporations. One of the reports showed that a McDonald’s restaurant, used as a food distribution site, supposedly generated $2.9 million in one year. That is a lot of Happy Meals!

In the summer of 2020, state officials became suspicious of the large number of meals being claimed at sites sponsored by Feeding Our Future and sought to deny payments during an investigation.  That request was denied when Bock, sued the court accusing it of racial hostility. A judge ruled that the state had not made its case and ordered the payments to continue.  The site continued to receive millions of dollars that the government now alleges was stolen.

The FBI continued its probe and on September 20, 2022, and evidence showed that more than 125 million meals, claimed to have been served by Feeding Our Future.  Whose “future” were they feeding? On September 20, 2022, the justice department charged 47 defendants for defrauding a federal program.  Court date has yet to be scheduled.

Great job by the FBI for persevering in this investigation.

Today’s Fraud of the Day is based on an article “U.S. charges ‘brazen’ theft of $250 million from pandemic food program “ published by The Washington Post on September 20, 2022

The Justice Department charged 47 defendants Tuesday for allegedly defrauding a federal program that provided food for needy children during the pandemic, describing the scheme — totaling nearly $250 million — as the largest uncovered to date targeting trillions in government aid.

Federal prosecutors said the defendants — a network of individuals and organizations tied to Feeding Our Future, a nonprofit operating in Minnesota — in some cases obtained federal pandemic funds in the names of children who did not exist and then spent that money on luxury cars, houses and other personal purchases.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.