Skip to main content

Gov. Tim Walz suggested there should be an investigation into a decision made by a district judge to restart payments from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) to Feeding Our Future, which is now the subject of the largest alleged pandemic fraud case in the United States.

The U.S. Department of Justice this week charged 48 people in connection to the $250 million scheme to defraud the Federal Child Nutrition Program during the COVID-19 pandemic, including Feeding Our Future CEO Aimee Bock.

MDE stopped payments to Feeding our Future when suspicions about the nonprofit grew, but the organization sued, with Ramsey County Judge John Guthmann ruling that MDE lacked the authority to stop payments, and in June 2021 held the department in contempt of court for not processing more than 140 applications from Feeding Our Future.

Speaking at a press conference Thursday, Walz said the decision by the judge left him "speechless," calling the ruling "unbelievable."

"Obviously, we had to honor it but at that point I said, we have got to continue to push the federal government and the FBI to do the investigation," he added.

The FBI took the case on in April 2021, with Walz saying his office has not been able to comment on the case since then due to the active investigation.

Walz continued to say he "would hope" there's an investigation into the judge's decision, given the U.S. Attorney's Office of Minnesota has filed charges against four-dozen people accused of the massive defrauding of the COVID relief program.

Walz's comments have been criticized by his gubernatorial opponent this November, Scott Jensen, along with other Republicans who said MDE should have appealed the judge's ruling.

But in a statement, MDE said that the department was also facing "mounting legal fees" after the judge ruled in favor of Feeding our Future, and that continuing to fight the case could have tipped off the nonprofit that it was under federal investigation.

Spokesman Kevin Burns provided the following statement to Bring Me The News:

"At that stage in its pursuits to shut down [Feed our Future], MDE had already been held in contempt of court once, was facing mounting legal fees, and the court had made it clear that if we were to continue the legal fight to withhold payments, MDE would incur additional sanctions and legal penalties. Further, as partners in the federal investigation, there were concerns that ongoing litigation would result in the now-indicted fraudsters learning of the investigation that resulted in the execution of multiple search warrants and property seizures in January of 2022, and the issuance of six indictments and 48 arrests on Tuesday of this week."

Burns also reiterated: "MDE was held in contempt of court for TRYING TO SHUT THESE FOLKS DOWN."

The governor said the fraud scheme was "caught early," but it remains unclear specifically when his administration was aware of it. Bring Me The News reached out to the governor's office for more information Thursday afternoon.

House Republican Minority Leader Kurt Daudt called the governor's and the department of education's response to the issue "a failure" in a statement on Wednesday.

"It's amazing to me that we find folks in the political realm that are more angry that they can't blame us for everything rather than recognizing that we had criminals that we caught," Walz stated.

The suspects are accused of participating in a massive scheme to pocket federal aid intended to provide meals to needy children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Federal prosecutors allege Bock had a role in orchestrating the scheme and received kickbacks, while owners and operators of five restaurants accused of filing false claims for child nutrition funds are among those charged.

In a statement Wednesday, Christopher Wray, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said the indictments describe "an egregious plot to steal public funds meant to care for children in need."

Next Up

Governor Tim Walz

Walz, judge in dispute over Feeding Our Future case

A Ramsey County judge disputed Walz's claims that the Minnesota Department of Education was ordered by the court to resume payments to Feeding Our Future.


2 dead, 1 with life-threatening injuries in Hwy. 7 crash

Both drivers were not wearing their seatbelt, according to the State Patrol.

Screen Shot 2022-09-25 at 11.50.33 AM

15-year-old Richfield football game shooting suspect arrested

A 16-year-old accused of instigating the altercation is also in custody.

Police tape

3 arrested after homicide, burglary in Inver Grove Heights

Charges of first-degree murder and first-degree burglary are pending.

fire, firefighter

Woman dies after becoming trapped in Waseca house fire

Police tried to enter the home but heavy smoke prevented them from getting inside.


1 dead, 2 with life-threatening injuries in Minnesota crash

The crash happened just after 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Image (1)

School bus carrying students plunges into river southwest of Fargo

None of the kids suffered life-threatening injuries, though some were taken to area hospitals.

Richfield High School

Richfield High School cancels weekend events after shooting

Two men were shot outside the school's football stadium

Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 10.21.38 PM

Sound of shots, mass panic at Richfield football game streamed live on YouTube

Gunfire caused panic at a varsity football game Friday night.

J. Gordon

K-9 search leads to $36K fentanyl seizure during traffic stop

A traffic stop was made after the vehicle was seen speeding through the area.



With 48 charged, aftershocks of Feeding Our Future fraud case continue

The Minnesota Department of Education is seeking to recoup taxpayer money lost in a "sham lawsuit" related to the alleged fraud.

Governor Tim Walz

Walz, judge in dispute over Feeding Our Future case

A Ramsey County judge disputed Walz's claims that the Minnesota Department of Education was ordered by the court to resume payments to Feeding Our Future.

Keith Ellison

AG Ellison asks court to oversee Feeding Our Future's disbandment

The Minnesota Attorney General's Office and federal officials are investigating the nonprofit.

Feeding Our Future announcement

Feds charge 47 in $250M Feeding Our Future COVID-19 fraud scheme

U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger announced dozens of indictments on Tuesday.

Mohamed Jama Ismail

MN man tied to Feeding Our Future probe charged with passport fraud

Mohamed Jama Ismail was arrested on Wednesday by FBI agents on the jetway after boarding an international flight.

pxels food donations stock crop

MN nonprofit at center of massive federal fraud probe dissolves

The FBI is investigating Feeding Our Future over multimillion dollar fraud allegations.

Screen Shot 2022-04-25 at 11.00.01 AM

Walz wants to use surplus money to send direct payments to Minnesotans

It's a renewed effort from a previous proposal from Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan's supplemental budget in January.

Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 5.20.08 PM

Gov. Walz reacts to Tuesday death of Mankato West student

The governor is a former geography teacher at the high school.