They would have embezzled 240 million dollars of anti-Covid aid intended for children

Forty-seven people, from the State of Minnesota (United States), were prosecuted for having participated in a massive fraud in an aid plan linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, for a total amount of 240 million dollars, authorities said on Tuesday.

“Today’s indictments highlight the blatant conspiracy to steal public money intended to support struggling children, in what is the worst fraud scheme uncovered in the context so far. of a pandemic relief plan,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said.

Luxury cars and real estate

The Department of Justice assures that the defendants embezzled tens of millions of dollars provided under the federal Child Nutrition Program, supposed to help children in need during the pandemic. The founder and executive director of a children’s aid organization, Feeding Our Future, is among those prosecuted, as the NGO opened more than 250 child food distribution sites across Minnesota during the pandemic, according to a statement from the ministry.

“These sites claimed to serve meals for thousands of children every day,” the statement added, in effect intentionally inflating its numbers by using false children’s names. “The defendants used the proceeds of their fraudulent scheme to buy luxury cars as well as commercial and residential real estate” in several American states, but also abroad, in Kenya and Turkey, assures the ministry of the Justice. The indictments list a range of offenses prosecuted, including wire fraud of federal funds, bribery and money laundering.

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