MINNEAPOLIS (WJON News) -- A Big Lake woman is among 10 more people who have been charged for their alleged roles in the fraud scheme that exploited a federally-funded child nutrition program.

Fifty-two-year-old Sharon Ross was the executive director of House of Refuge Twin Cities, a non-profit that she enrolled in the program under the sponsorship of Feeding Our Children.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, it is alleged between October 2021 and January 2022 Ross falsely claimed to be serving thousands of children each day at her House of Refuge sites.

In total, Ross allegedly received about $2.8 million some of which she spent on real estate, vehicles, and payments to family members.

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The other nine people charged recently are from Eagan, Minneapolis, Bloomington, Savage, and Faribault. They are facing charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, and bribery.

U-S Attorney for Minnesota Andrew Luger says it brings to 60 the number of defendants in "this ever-growing scandal" -- with more charges expected in the future.

Six people have pleaded guilty so far, and Luger says there are more to come.



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