Tales from the Free Lunch Fraud search warrants
A number of search warrants have been obtained and executed in the alleged Feeding Our Future scandal. Three of them are known to be in public circulation.
Scott Johnson of Power Line has posted the first of them and now has posted a second search warrant on the website. He has the third warrant posted here. On this third warrant, I have taken a few notes shared below.
For those not familiar with the basics of the story, this earlier post assembles links to all of the media reports on the alleged scandal. Not one person has been arrested or charged.
Here are a few notes taken on the FBI search warrant dated Jan. 14, 2022 and referencing the private home of Feeding Our Future’s Aimee Bock in Rosemount, Minnesota.
Update: For her part, Bock has denied any and all wrongdoing in interviews with the Star Tribune and the Sahan Journal. Her lawyer says the following in reference to the FBI search warrants,
[T]he search warrants took liberties, significant liberties, factually.
The affidavit of FBI agent Travis Wilmer states that the search warrant does not contain every fact he has on the investigation, just enough to justify the search warrant. Page 4, paragraph number 6. That said, the affidavit is rich in detail and alleged fact.
Wilmer states that from prior search warrants, the FBI already had access to Bock’s email account at Feeding Our Future (p. 4, no. 9) and has access to bank records for many of the principals involved (p. 6, no. 18, et. al.)
The affidavit includes alleged examples of site logs and vendor invoices. My favorite is the one showing a site distributing meals in all 31 days of November 2021 (p. 45). Runner-up is the Safari restaurant log showing they prepared exactly 6,000 meals every day for the first week of March 2021 (p. 23).
Bock’s Rosemount address and Feeding Our Future’s St. Anthony office suite is the official address for Feeding Our Future and the sequel nonprofit Feeding Our Future II. It is also the official address for the remodeling business, Handy-Helper’s, of her live-in boyfriend (p. 49, no. 150), Empress Malcolm Watson, Jr. Their joint business, Classic Customs — E.M.P., is also listed there.
The affidavit includes numerous diagrams and tables tracing the money from Feeding Our Future to bank, to bank, to bank, and ultimately to the alleged ill-gotten gains (example on p. 35).
The affidavit includes copies of cancelled checks (example on p. 40).
The affidavit describes the $600,000 transaction between Bock’s Feeding Our Future and Watson’s Handy-Helper’s, either stolen (FBI, p. 49, no. 150) or used to remodel the nonprofit’s St. Anthony offices (Bock, Star Tribune interview). The FBI claims (p. 49, no. 151) that Bock has personal access to Handy-Helper’s bank account.
The affidavit includes a dizzying number of names, of persons both individual and corporate. Not all of the names appearing are targets of the investigation.
For an example of the complexity involved in the alleged fraud case, p. 54, paragraph 165 alone lists eight alleged shell companies controlled by a single figure in the alleged scandal. Most of the eight were created in a four-month period from late 2020 to early 2021.
Not one person has been arrested or charged.