Feeding our Future defendant charged previously with Medicaid fraud

Professionals stand behind a podium
U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota Andrew Luger announces indictments in a massive alleged fraud scheme by Feeding Our Future on Tuesday. One of the defendants also faces charges of fraudulently billing Medicaid.
Ben Hovland | MPR News

One of the four dozen defendants accused of defrauding federal child nutrition programs was charged previously with filing phony Medicaid claims.

Anab Artab Awad, 52, of Plymouth is charged with wire fraud and money laundering as part of the sprawling Feeding our Future investigation.

Federal prosecutors say she conspired with Aimee Bock, 41, Feeding our Future’s founder, and stole more than $11 million from meal programs for needy kids. Awad allegedly spent some of the cash on two new Dodge Ram pickup trucks, each valued at $69,000.

According to an indictment unsealed Tuesday, Awad claimed to have served 3.8 million meals to needy children at at least five purported distribution sites, including locations in Osseo, Minneapolis, and Faribault.

At a Minneapolis site, prosecutors allege that she “claimed to have served more than 1.5 million meals to children” from January to April 2021, but in reality, her operations there “served a fraction of the meal amounts claimed.”

In March 2021, the time of the alleged food aid fraud, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minneapolis charged Awad and 11 others in a separate Medicaid fraud case.

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From 2014 to 2017, the group allegedly billed for mental health and language interpretation services that were never performed. Authorities say that Minnesota Medicaid “paid out over $95,000 on Ms. Awad’s knowingly fraudulent submissions.”

Awad pleaded not guilty to the Medicaid charges last year.

This week prosecutors asked a federal magistrate judge to revoke Awad’s pretrial release in the Medicaid case for allegedly failing to remain law abiding, and also for missing a 2021 appearance in Hennepin County court on misdemeanor charges of assault and disorderly conduct.

Though three of the 48 defendants have fled the country, the government has not sought pretrial detention for the majority of the others because prosecutors do not consider them to pose a flight risk.

Correction (September 29, 2022): An earlier version of this article switched the first and middle name of Anab Artab Awad.