Feeding our Future plans to dissolve as federal investigation continues

A Twin Cities area nonprofit at the center of a massive fraud investigation has filed a notice to dissolve the organization.

Feeding our Future and some of the local groups that it sponsored are under federal investigation for allegedly spending millions of dollars in public money on cars, luxury items and lakefront properties, according to search warrants obtained earlier this year by 5 INVESTIGATES.

RELATED: Feds: Nonprofit stole millions of tax dollars meant to feed kids during pandemic

The money was supposed to help feed underprivileged children during the pandemic.

No one has been criminally charged as part of the investigation.

But federal investigators have taken steps to seize and freeze assets tied to Feeding our Future and other organizations associated with it.

RELATED: Feds could seize properties connected to ‘Feeding our Future’ investigation

In documents filed with the Secretary of State on Friday, the nonprofit’s board of directors wrote that “as a result of the negative media reports and frozen assets… they wish to voluntarily dissolve the organization and begin the wind-down process.”

Jennifer Urban, an attorney for Feeding our Future, told 5 INVESTIGATES the nonprofit is not admitting any wrongdoing and relied on outside firms to conduct all accounting functions.

“Feeding Our Future relied on the professional services performed, but is now (after the fact) discovering the work was likely not up to standards,” Urban said. “Even though the organization is dissolving, Feeding Our Future is determined to obtain the services of an accounting firm to re-conduct any necessary audits, federal single audit or otherwise, as well as tax returns for purposes of properly reporting Feeding Our Future’s income and expenses.”

Court records show the organization received nearly $200 million last year in Federal Child Nutrition Funds through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The money was distributed by the Minnesota Department of Education which tipped off the FBI last year.

The state agency became concerned about a “massive increase” in federal funding flowing from Feeding our Future to other organizations associated with the nonprofit, according to the records.

An attorney representing Aimee Bock, Feeding our Future’s CEO, said the federal investigation forced the decision to dissolve the organization which Bock founded in 2016.

“The FBI’s actions, orchestrated by the Minnesota Department of Education, have made Ms. Bock’s ability to run the organization untenable,” Kenneth Udoibok said. “Therefore, she wants to redirect her focus to the FBI’s investigation.”

“Feeding Our Future did a lot of great work for the community,” Bock said in a statement released Friday afternoon. “It’s heartbreaking that the organization must dissolve under these circumstances.”

An attorney confirmed that Feeding Our Future terminated approximately 65 employees.

Although day-to-day operations have come to an end, legal experts say formally dissolving a nonprofit is a long process and it won’t shield the organization from any potential liability.

“You can’t just quickly dissolve before someone brings a claim against you. There’s a 90-day waiting period for that to happen,” said Sarah Duniway, an attorney who works with nonprofits and is not involved in the case. “What’s important to know about this is that this is the beginning of a formal process, but it’s just the beginning of a journey for this organization.”