The Justice Department has charged 47 defendants with defrauding a federal program of $250 million that provided food for needy children during the pandemic, the largest COVID-related fraud uncovered to date reports Washington Post. The network of individuals and organizations tied to Feeding Our Future, a nonprofit operating in Minnesota, relied on a complex web of shell companies and bribes to obtain federal pandemic funds, even using the names of children who did not exist, and then spend that money on luxury cars, houses and other personal purchases.
The roughly $5 trillion in emergency spending that Congress has adopted since 2020, which opened the door to billions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse. Criminals repeatedly stole the identities of innocent Americans, potentially draining much-needed jobless aid by more than $160 billion. Similar schemes targeted roughly $1 trillion in aid administered by the Small Business Administration.