Federal prosecutors announced charges Tuesday against 47 people accused of carrying out the biggest Covid fraud scheme to date, a theft of $250 million through what officials described as a brazen and staggering plot that exploited a federal program designed to feed needy children in Minnesota.
Prosecutors say a web of charities, restaurants and individuals pulled off the fraud by claiming they were providing meals for tens of thousands of underserved children, when in fact the money was going to commercial real estate, luxury cars, fancy homes and even coastal property in Kenya. Authorities say the defendants took advantage of loosened eligibility rules — and a lack of oversight — due to the pandemic.
“This was a brazen scheme of staggering proportions,” U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger said in a statement.
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