Aimee Bock: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

aimee bock

Shari L. Gross/Star Tribune via Getty Aimee Bock.

Aimee Bock is the founder and executive director of Feeding Our Future, a nonprofit organization in Minnesota that participated in the Federal Child Nutrition Program.

She is accused in a federal indictment of “overseeing a massive fraud scheme carried out by sites under Feeding Our Future’s sponsorship,” the U.S. Department of Justice wrote in a September 20, 2022, news release.

A former teacher, Bock’s full name is Aimee Marie Bock. Online records show she lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

“Feeding Our Future went from receiving and disbursing approximately $3.4 million in federal funds in 2019 to nearly $200 million in 2021,” according to DOJ.

Bock was one of 47 defendants accused in the “$250 million fraud scheme that exploited a federally funded child nutrition program during the COVID-19 pandemic,” DOJ says.

“The 47 defendants are charged across six separate indictments and three criminal informations with charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and bribery,” the release says.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. The U.S. Attorney General Called the Crimes the ‘Largest Pandemic Relief Fraud Scheme Charged to Date’; Bock Has Worked as a Teacher

The attorney general of the United States explained the scope of the scheme.

“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 in the news release.

“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.”

“Today’s 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,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray.

“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.”

“This was a brazen scheme of staggering proportions,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger for the District of Minnesota.

“These defendants exploited a program designed to provide nutritious food to needy children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, they prioritized their own greed, stealing more than a quarter of a billion dollars in federal funds to purchase luxury cars, houses, jewelry and coastal resort property abroad. I commend the work of the skilled investigators and prosecutors who unraveled the lies, deception and mountains of false documentation to bring this complex case to light.”

Her LinkedIn page says Bock has worked as a teacher and for a variety of other nonprofit organizations.

Her entry for Feeding Our Future says: “We utilize the Child and Adult Care Food Program to increase healthy food access for Minnesota’s youth and seniors. We utilize the Child and Adult Care Food Program to increase healthy food access for Minnesota’s youth and seniors.”

Before that, she worked as director of operations for Partners in Nutrition in St. Paul, which works to break down “barriers to participation in the USDA Child and Care Food Program. We work with child care centers, adult care centers, emergency shelters and afterschool programs to provide nutritious meals to individuals that would otherwise have limited access.”

She was an accreditation coordinator for the Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children and was center director and a lead infant teacher for Knowledge Universe. She was an MNCPD-approved trainer, a board member of Early Childhood Family Education and a substitute teacher.


2. The Government Accuses Bock, Who Has a Master’s Degree, & the Other Defendants of Enriching Themselves Instead of Feeding Children


Money Meant For Student May Have Gone To Luxury Homes, CarFederal agents executed search warrants on more than a dozen properties connected to what FBI search warrants call an alleged pattern of deception, money laundering and fraud by a Minneapolis organization claiming to feed at-risk children.2022-01-21T04:18:16Z

According to the government, the defendants “devised and carried out a massive scheme to defraud the Federal Child Nutrition Program.”

The defendants “obtained, misappropriated and laundered millions of dollars in program funds that were intended as reimbursements for the cost of serving meals to children. The defendants exploited changes in the program intended to ensure underserved children received adequate nutrition during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the government’s news release says.

“Rather than feed children, the defendants enriched themselves by fraudulently misappropriating millions of dollars in Federal Child Nutrition Program funds.”

What is the program? The news release says:

The Federal Child Nutrition Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is a federally funded program designed to provide free meals to children in need. The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service administers the program throughout the nation by distributing federal funds to state governments. In Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) administers and oversees the Federal Child Nutrition Program. Meals funded by the Federal Child Nutrition Program are served by “sites.” Each site participating in the program must be sponsored by an authorized sponsoring organization. Sponsors must submit an application to MDE for each site. Sponsors are also responsible for monitoring each of their sites and preparing reimbursement claims for their sites. The USDA then provides MDE federal reimbursement funds on a per-meal basis. MDE provides those funds to the sponsoring agency who, in turn, pays the reimbursements to the sites under its sponsorship. The sponsoring agency retains 10 to 15 percent of the funds as an administrative fee.

Some requirements were waived during the pandemic. “Among other things, the USDA allowed for-profit restaurants to participate in the program, as well as allowed for off-site food distribution to children outside of educational programs,” the news release says.

Bock’s LinkedIn page says she has a master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from Argosy University in the Twin Cities and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota-Duluth.


3. The Defendants Are Accused of Creating ‘Shell Companies’ to Submit ‘Fraudulent Meal Count Sheets’; Bock & a Former Business Partner Had a Falling Out


FBI investigates Minnesota nonprofit for allegedly misusing millions of dollars meant to feed kidsAccording to an FBI warrant, Feeding Our Future's federal funding grew from $3.4 million in 2019 to more than $197 million in 2021. Welcome to the official YouTube channel of KARE 11 News. Subscribe to our channel for compelling and dramatic storytelling, award winning investigations, breaking news and information you can use. » Subscribe to…2022-01-22T00:14:38Z

According to Sahan Journal, Bock and a former business partner and friend named Kara Lomen had a falling out when Bock accused the partner of hacking, which she denied.

Bock’s lawyer told the publication he believes the “genesis” of the federal investigation into Bock derived from Lomen. The lawyer told Sahan Journal that Bocks denies any wrongdoing.

Sahan Journal reports,

Before Aimee Bock got involved in federal food aid programs, she worked as a child care instructor. Bock graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2003 with a degree in elementary education. She then joined a daycare company called Knowledge Universe, working her way up from instructor to center director. Bock went on to work for an education trade group called Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children, where she helped child care organizations manage accreditation.

Feeding Our Future employees “recruited individuals and entities to open Federal Child Nutrition Program sites throughout the state of Minnesota,” the release says.

“These sites, created and operated by the defendants and others, fraudulently claimed to be serving meals to thousands of children a day within just days or weeks of being formed,” the release says.

“The defendants created dozens of shell companies to enroll in the program as Federal Child Nutrition Program sites. The defendants also created shell companies to receive and launder the proceeds of their fraudulent scheme.”

The government alleges the defendants “submitted fraudulent meal count sheets purporting to document the number of children and meals served at each site. The defendants submitted false invoices purporting to document the purchase of food to be served to children at the sites.”


4. The Defendants Are Accused of Faking Children’s Names Using a Website That Generates Lists of Random Names


Feeding Our Future fraud investigation puts nonprofits under Minnesota lawmakers' microscope | FOX 9An attorney for the Minnesota Department of Education said Wednesday that a federal investigation is ongoing into what he called "one of the largest fraud occurrences in state history" at a meals program and hinted about grand jury involvement. Subscribe to FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul youtube.com/channel/UClwddNv0Cr6SIEGkzVK886w?sub_confirmation=1 Watch FOX 9 Live: fox9.com/live FOX 9 is your…2022-04-07T00:05:24Z

The defendants are also accused of submitting “fake attendance rosters purporting to list the names and ages of the children receiving meals at the sites each day. These rosters were fabricated and created using fake names.”

For example, the government contends, one roster “was created using names from a website called ‘www.listofrandomnames.com.’ Because the program only reimbursed for meals served to children, other defendants used an Excel formula to insert a random age between 7 and 17 into the age column of the rosters.”

Feeding Our Future “received more than $18 million in administrative fees to which it was not entitled,” the government says.

“In addition to the administrative fees, Feeding Our Future employees solicited and received bribes and kickbacks from individuals and companies sponsored by Feeding Our Future. Many of these kickbacks were paid in cash or disguised as ‘consulting fees’ paid to shell companies created by Feeding Our Future employees to make them appear legitimate.”


5. Bock Accused the Government of Discrimination


Feeding Our Future: Founder, 46 others charged in 'massive' fraud schemeThe founder of Feeding Our Future and 46 others have been charged in what federal officials are calling the largest pandemic fraud in the country. U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger on Tuesday announced charges against founder Aimee Bock and others that include conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, and bribery. Authorities alleged the massive fraud scheme took…2022-09-20T17:18:46Z

When the Minnesota Department of Education started asking questions about the claims, “Bock and Feeding Our Future gave false assurances that they were monitoring the sites under its sponsorship and that the sites were serving the meals as claimed,” the news release says.

“When MDE employees pressed Bock for clarification, Bock accused MDE of discrimination and unfairly scrutinizing Feeding Our Future’s sites. When MDE denied Feeding Our Future site applications, Bock and Feeding Our Future filed a lawsuit accusing MDE of denying the site applications due to discrimination in violation of the Minnesota Human Rights Act.”

In total, the government says, “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. 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.”

The following defendants are named in the United States v. Aimee Marie Bock, et al. indictment:

Aimee Marie Bock, 41, of Apple Valley, Minnesota, is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery, federal programs bribery. Bock was the founder and executive director of Feeding Our Future. Bock oversaw the $240 million fraud scheme carried out by sites under Feeding Our Future’s sponsorship.
Abdikerm Abdelahi Eidleh, 39, of Burnsville, Minnesota, is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery, federal programs bribery, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and money laundering. Eidleh was an employee of Feeding Our Future who solicited and received bribes and kickbacks from individuals and sites under the sponsorship of Feeding Our Future. Eidleh also created his own fraudulent sites.
Salim Ahmed Said, 33, of Plymouth, Minnesota, is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery, federal programs bribery, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and money laundering. Said was an owner and operator of Safari Restaurant, a site that received more than $16 million in fraudulent Federal Child Nutrition Program funds.
Abdulkadir Nur Salah, 36, of Columbia Heights, Minnesota, is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery, federal programs bribery, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and money laundering. Abdulkadir Salah was an owner and operator of Safari Restaurant, a site that received more than $16 million in fraudulent Federal Child Nutrition Program funds.
Ahmed Sharif Omar-Hashim, 39, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery, federal programs bribery, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and money laundering. Omar-Hashim created a company called Olive Management Inc., a site that received approximately $5 million in fraudulent Federal Child Nutrition Program funds.
Abdi Nur Salah, 34, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and money laundering. Abdi Salah registered Stigma-Free International, a non-profit entity used to carry out the scheme with sites throughout Minnesota, including in Willmar, Mankato, St. Cloud, Waite Park, and St. Paul.
Abdihakim Ali Ahmed, 36, of Apple Valley, Minnesota, is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery, federal programs bribery, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and money laundering. Abdihakim Ahmed created ASA Limited LLC, a site that received approximately $5 million in fraudulent Federal Child Nutrition Program funds.
Ahmed Mohamed Artan, 37, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and money laundering. Artan registered Stigma-Free International, a non-profit entity used to carry out the scheme with sites throughout Minnesota, including in Willmar, Mankato, St. Cloud, Waite Park, and St. Paul.
Abdikadir Ainanshe Mohamud, 30, of Fridley, Minnesota, is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery, federal programs bribery, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and money laundering. Mohamud ran the Stigma-Free Willmar site. This site claimed to have served approximately 1.6 million meals and received more than $4 million in fraudulent Federal Child Nutrition Program funds.
Abdinasir Mahamed Abshir, 30, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery, federal programs bribery, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and money laundering. Abdinasir Abshir ran the Stigma-Free Mankato site. This site claimed to have served more than 1.6 million meals and received approximately $5 million in fraudulent Federal Child Nutrition Program funds.
Asad Mohamed Abshir, 32, of Mankato, Minnesota, is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and money laundering. Asad Abshir ran the Stigma-Free Mankato site. This site claimed to have served more than 1.6 million meals and received approximately $5 million in fraudulent Federal Child Nutrition Program funds.
Hamdi Hussein Omar, 26, of St. Paul, Minnesota, is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Omar ran the Stigma-Free Waite Park site. This site claimed to have served more than 500,000 meals and received more than $1 million in fraudulent Federal Child Nutrition Program funds.
Ahmed Abdullahi Ghedi, 32, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, federal programs bribery, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and money laundering. Ghedi created ASA Limited LLC, a site that received approximately $5 million in fraudulent Federal Child Nutrition Program funds.
Abdirahman Mohamud Ahmed, 54, of Columbus, Ohio, is charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering. Abdirahman Ahmed was an owner and operator of Safari Restaurant, a site that received more than $16 million in fraudulent Federal Child Nutrition Program funds.

Other defendants are named in different indictments.

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