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Eric Rasmussen KSTP 

Updated: February 17, 2022 – 6:21 PM

Published: February 17, 2022 – 5:08 PM

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minnesota has filed a lawsuit that could lead to the seizure of more than a dozen properties — office buildings, single-family homes, and lakefront lots — all connected to what investigators called a ‘massive fraud scheme’ involving public money meant to help feed children in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Federal agents raided several locations associated with Feeding our Future in January. The non-profit organization received nearly $200 million last year in Federal Child Nutrition Funds through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to search warrant applications filed in court.

In a separate civil filing, federal prosecutors are now seeking the forfeiture of 14 properties that they say were purchased with those federal funds.

“Conspirators misappropriated the money and used it to purchase real estate, cars, and other luxury items,” wrote Craig Baune, Assistant U.S. Attorney. “To date, the conspirators have stolen millions of dollars in federal funds.”

The forfeiture action identifies several non-profit organizations that were sponsored by Feeding our Future to serve meals around the Twin Cities and throughout the state.

Prosecutors say $575,000 in federal funds were used to buy a house in Savage.

$2.8 million in federal funds went to purchase a historic mansion on Park Avenue in south Minneapolis that was converted to office space, according to the complaint.

Prosecutors also allege more than $1 million in federal funds were used to buy two lakefront lots on Prior lake last year.

“They are the proceeds of the fraud scheme and were involved in money laundering transactions and are traceable to such property,” Baune wrote in the complaint.

The government said it is not seeking to immediately seize the properties in question, but rather file notices of the pending lawsuit in county property records.

So far, no one has been arrested in connection with the federal investigation of Feeding our Future.

Aimee Bock, the non-profit’s founder and executive director, has not been charged with a crime.

Bock has not responded to interview requests from 5 INVESTIGATES. Her attorney, Kenneth Udoibok, declined to comment on the forfeiture case, but asserted his client’s innocence.

“Based on a review of this case… I have doubts that the government will indict Ms. Bock,” Udoibok said. “The search warrant, on its face, does not posit any evidence of criminality.”

Please read more at the link below ⬇️ Thanks 🙏

https://kstp.com/kstp-news/top-news/feds-could-seize-properties-connected-to-feeding-our-future-investigation/

Thank you to everyone who participated in caucus last night.

🇺🇸 GOP caucuses bring out sense of energy; Jensen winning straw poll for governor

Democrats were able to participate by essentially emailing in their choices for delegates and other ideas for the party’s platform of issues.

Energized at the prospects of gaining ground in November’s election and unified over a sense of purpose, ardent Republicans gathered across Minnesota on Tuesday night in small groups to plan their push.

The events — some 4,000 events, actually — were precinct caucuses, small community meetings that begin the process of endorsing candidates running for office in November’s election, which will affect nearly every elected office from county commissioners up to the governor.

The headline to come out of the night would be the result of the straw poll for governor, where the field of candidates seeking to challenge Gov. Tim Walz, a DFLer, has grown crowded.

Former state Sen. Scott Jensen, a family physician who gained prominence by expressing doubts on COVID-19 vaccines, took a strong lead over all others early into the evening.

The poll carries no actual impact, but serves to take the pulse of the party faithful as campaigns are ramping up.

GOVERNOR STRAW POLL

With nearly 93 percent of precincts reporting, here were the results:

•Former state Sen. Scott Jensen, a Chaska physician who has led the field in fundraising: 38 percent;

* State Sen. Paul Gazelka of East Gull Lake, the former Senate Majority leader: 14 percent;

* Dr. Neil Shah, a dermatologist from North Oaks: 12 percent;

* Kendall Qualls, a former health care executive and Army veteran: 11 percent;

* Lexington Mayor Mike Murphy: 11 percent;

* State Sen. Michelle Benson of Ham Lake, who has chaired key human services committees: 7 percent;

* Undecided: 7 percent;

* Former Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek announced his candidacy Tuesday. Stanek’s name was not printed on ballots, and official party results did not include a tally for him.

Beyond the straw poll, caucuses serve as the base level of grassroots organizing, where people decide which delegates will attend a series of larger gatherings later in the year, culminating with the state convention wherein the party will formally endorse a candidate. Endorsements are not legally binding — any candidate can still enter their name in the August primary. However, that practice is frowned upon — more so in the GOP than with Democrats.

Caucuses also allow regular folks to bring up ideas they want to see in their party platforms — documents intended to reflect the ideals and issues a party stands for.

“It’s important for us to be involved at the grassroots level,” said Gavin Woodland, who came to caucuses at Waconia High School with his wife, Cassy, their 2-year-old daughter — who would certainly be up well past bedtime — and Cassy’s mother, Jane Norton.

It was worth attending, despite the likelihood the toddler would make them pay for it later, Gavin said. “This is where you can feel the impact.”

ISSUES ON THEIR MINDS

Woodland echoed a sentiment voiced by a number of caucus attendees, who said they felt the country — and the state — had changed for the worse.

“We’ve seen a lot of morals taken out of life, out of school, out of government,” he said. “This is not the Minnesota we grew up in.”

Please read more link below  ⬇️  🙏 John

https://www.twincities.com/2022/02/01/minnesota-republicans-caucuses-bring-out-sense-of-energy-shared-purpose/amp/

🚨 Action Over #Complacency! 🇺🇸 ⚖️ 🦅

Get involved and stay involved!

It all starts with attending your local precinct caucuses!

Minnesota’s precinct caucuses are coming up on Feb. 1, 2022

CAUCUS LOCATOR 👀 MINNETOSA ⬇️

https://caucusfinder.sos.state.mn.us/ 

Following is a message from Wes Mader, founding member of Citizens for Accountable Government (CAG), who recently lost his garage to a fire on Christmas Eve.

A Christmas eve bonfire in Prior Lake

As the sun went down on Christmas eve, I was not feeling very joyful. The sight of our garage and everything in it burned to the ground with me feeling responsible, left a sickening feeling. In spite of the fact that most of our family was together for a Christmas eve celebration later, I wasn’t in a Christmas mood. That was followed by a sleepless night as I lay awake wondering what if I had done this, or what if I hadn’t done that, while trying to remember everything that was in the garage.

By Christmas day morning, the load seemed to be lifting. I was remembering that when we first bought our home, the one big negative in our minds was the detached garage that we’ve lived with for about 30 years. I was cheered by the knowledge that our house is still standing unscarred, because of that detachment. The comfort and convenience that an attached garage would have provided over 30 years, would have seemed miniscule, as compared to what we would have lost if our house had gone down in flames. Everything in the garage is replaceable if even still needed, but our house is filled with things that dollars cannot replace, including a life time of memories. It was time to get over the self-pity.

The investigator from the State Fire Marshall’s office who arrived about 9AM Christmas morning, asked if anyone had been injured by the fire. In effect, he said a visit like this was easy as compared to those where a fire had taken the lives of children, or other family members, which often happens around Christmas time. Indeed, the time for self-pity was over. It was time to be joyful, because the “what ifs” that could have happened if I hadn’t been easily able to escape the garage when the unextinguishable fire started, didn’t happen.

By Sunday my concern about the stuff in the garage was gone, and my spirit was buoyed by the support being offered by friends, neighbors and family. On a broad picture, the burning down of our garage was not a big deal, but friends, neighbors and family are. So are the fire fighters from the SMSC, and the police officers and fire fighters from the City of Prior Lake who joined me at my Christmas eve bonfire. They’re here to lend support if and when needed, something I hope I never forget to do when required.

Wes Mader, Dec. 26, 2021

Merry Christmas 🎄 🎅 🌟 ✨ 🎄 to all our CAG followers, families and friends from our CAG TEAM! We hope you have a great Christmas 🎄 and a Happy New Year. We hope Santa 🎅 brings you peace ☮️ and joy, with a lot of nice presents 🎁 You are all very special and thanks for your loyal support throughout the years 😊

Take care, be safe! 🙏

CAG team members

The Spirit of Christmas 🎄 by Ray Charles

https://youtu.be/LpFA5ItN8hw