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Defense attorneys in first Feeding Our Future trial say defendants served 'real food,' deny fraud scheme

Defense attorneys in the first Feeding Our Future trial argued in federal court Monday that their clients, accused of defrauding the government in a massive meal fraud scheme, actually followed rules and served "real food" to Minnesota children in need.

The defendants navigated a complex federal program that was upended in the pandemic, their attorneys said in opening statements, publicly making their case for the first time to rebut the government's accusations that they stole millions of dollars and spent it on themselves. They noted that the government approved thousands of waivers loosening rules and oversight to get food to low-income kids when schools were shuttered, including allowing for-profit restaurants to participate.

While nonprofits like Feeding Our Future oversaw the food sites and vendors, the defendants were part of businesses that could make money, the attorneys argued.


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