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.