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Feds Charge 47 for Stealing $250M in COVID Relief Funds

    Feds Charge 47 for Stealing $250M in COVID Relief Funds
    Last updated: 2 months ago
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    Facts

    • Federal prosecutors on Tuesday announced charges against 47 individuals accused of stealing $250M from a federal program designed to feed needy children in Minnesota during the COVID pandemic. [1]
    • US Attorney Andrew Luger called it "the largest pandemic fraud in the United States," adding that the charges include "conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, and paying and receiving illegal kickbacks." [2]
    • Among the defendants is the executive director of the charity Feeding our Future, whose employees are accused of recruiting people under the auspices of serving meals to thousands of kids per day. In total, the defendants were reimbursed for 125M meals that were never served. [3]
    • The defendants allegedly submitted false invoices of food served to the children and lists of fake names. They then reportedly used the money to buy real estate in Minnesota, Kenya, and Turkey, as well as purchase luxury vehicles, jewelry, and international trips. [4]
    • The charges allege Feeding our Future opened more than 250 meal distribution locations and received approximately $250M from a COVID relief program administered by the US Dept. of Agriculture. [1]
    • The indictment documents also allege the group's tactics included kickbacks disguised as "consulting fees" paid to shell companies. [2]
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    Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Feeding our Future was entirely focused on helping those in need, not on fraudulent schemes that took advantage of children to get rich. If any fraud occurred, it was without the knowledge of the executive director. A transparent investigation is more than welcome to get to the bottom of these allegations.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    This is another sign that COVID relief programs are rife with issues. Though an indictment never proves guilt, it seems that the senior leadership of this group knew exactly what they were doing. It's devastating that Feeding Our Future abused a public program designed to help the most vulnerable during COVID and defrauded taxpayers of a quarter of a billion dollars.

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