Opening statements are underway in the first Feeding Our Future trial

With a jury in place, opening statements began this morning in the trial of seven (7) defendants in the first Feeding Our Future trial.

The seven were associated with a now-defunct Shakopee restaurant, Empire Cuisine and Market.

Court got underway this morning in Minneapolis. For live Twitter (X) updates from the courtroom, follow KARE-11’s Lou Raguse and MN Reformer’s Deena Winter.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune is out with a report on the morning’s activities. From the prosecutors’ opening statement, the Star Tribune has this quote,

Their scheme was fueled by deception and corruption. The defendants simply pocketed the children’s lunch money.

Defense attorneys tried this line,

Attorneys for defendants in the first Feeding Our Future trial argued Monday that they served “real food” to children in need across Minnesota, refuting prosecutors’ claims of a widespread fraud scheme.

The Star Tribune quotes the prosecutor as saying that only about 10 percent of the claimed meals were actually delivered.

The Sahan Journal reported on the full day’s proceedings under the headline “Champagne in the Maldives.”

After opening statements, the first witness appeared, a manager from the state Dept. of Education, who oversees the Federal free-food programs in Minnesota.