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47 suspects accused of stealing US government funds invested in real estate in Kenya

By Kevin Cheruiyot September 21st, 2022 2 min read

The wheels of justice in Kenya seem too be grinding slowly against the Covid billionaires who siphoned funds that were meant to fight the pandemic in Kenya, two years down.

This is not the case in the United States of America.

On Tuesday, the US Attorney announced Federal Charges Against 47 Defendants who were involved in a fraud scheme that led to the loss of Sh30 billion (USD 250million) that was executed through a nonprofit organisation called Feeding Our Future.

The Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota announced federal criminal charges against the 47 suspects for their alleged roles that exploiting a federally-funded child nutrition program during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“These indictments, alleging the largest pandemic relief fraud scheme charged to date, underscore the Department of Justice’s sustained commitment to combating pandemic fraud and holding accountable those who perpetrate it,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.

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“In partnership with agencies across government, the Justice Department will continue to bring to justice those who have exploited the pandemic for personal gain and stolen from American taxpayers,” US Attorney Andrew M. Luger said.

It was revealed that Feeding Our Future opened more than 250 sites throughout the state of Minnesota and fraudulently obtained and disbursed more than $240 million in Federal Child Nutrition Program funds.

Also, the defendants used the proceeds of their fraudulent scheme to purchase luxury vehicles, residential and commercial real estate in Minnesota as well as property in Ohio and Kentucky, real estate in Kenya and Turkey, and to fund international travel as well.

“Exploiting a government program intended to feed children at the time of a national crisis is the epitome of greed,” said IRS – Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Justin Campbell, Chicago Field Office.

“As alleged, the defendants charged in this case chose to enrich themselves at the expense of children. Instead of feeding the future, they chose to steal from the future.

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IRS – Criminal Investigation is pleased to join our law enforcement partners to hold these defendants accountable.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray said during the ruling that the indictments describe an egregious plot to steal public funds meant to care for children in need in what amounts to the largest pandemic relief fraud scheme yet.

“The defendants went to great lengths to exploit a program designed to feed underserved children in Minnesota amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, fraudulently diverting millions of dollars designated for the program for their own personal gain.

These charges send the message that the FBI and our law enforcement partners remain vigilant and will vigorously pursue those who attempt to enrich themselves through fraudulent means.”

In August 2020, former President Uhuru Kenyatta gave the directives to the investigative bodies to have the suspects arrested and charged for misusing the funds.

The investigation is still ongoing and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji said that the suspects will be arraigned once his office receives their files.

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