The feds are trying to seize a Louisville mosque and health clinic.
The government said the buildings were purchased using money stolen from a program to feed kids in Minnesota.
Prosecutors said a complex web of groups there bilked the government out of $250 million.
If the government wins these two cases, it would likely auction the two properties.
It said they were bought with $268,000 that was supposed to feed kids during the worst of the COVID pandemic.
“The scheme that began with a simple idea in March 2020 grew to become the largest pandemic fraud in the United States,” said Minnesota U.S. Attorney Andy Luger.
As prosecutors unraveled the web of nonprofits and restaurants they said stole COVID money intended to feed kids, they filed seizure cases against 14 properties they said were bought with stolen money.
Prosecutors said a company registered in Kentucky as BBI, LLC purchased the storefront at 3847 Cane Run Road for $208,000 and the church at 6200 S 3rd St for $60,000 last year using money traced back to the COVID food program fraud in Minnesota.
The church has been turned into a mosque, and the storefront is now a health clinic.
WAVE visited both properties trying to unravel the Louisville connection.
No one was at the mosque when we were, but a poster in the entrance showed it’s trying to raise money from its worshippers to pay its $810,000 mortgage owed to BBI, LLC.
At the clinic, two people inside told me they only rent the building from BBI, and didn’t know anything about stolen money.
We knocked on the door of the man listed in state records as the owner of the clinic as well as the president of BBI last year. No one was home.
At the address of the person who would receive legal documents for BBI, a woman took my business card but said the man we were looking for wasn’t there.
He called five minutes later and said WAVE would be hearing from his lawyer. When we asked him who would be calling, he said don’t worry about it. The lawyer called and said they have no comment right now.
“The goal was to make as much money for themselves as they could,” said Luger.
47 people have been indicted so far in connection to the $250 million fraud case.
No one connected to these buildings has been charged with a crime.
The seizure case has been put on hold while the criminal case works through the courts.
We reached out to the Minneapolis lawyer representing claims for the two properties.
We did not hear back.
Source: Wave 3