Dallas Man Indicted for Defrauding Low-Income Children’s Nutrition Program
A federal grand jury this week indicted a Dallas man for defrauding the Summer Food Service Program, a U.S. Department of Agriculture initiative that provides free meals to children in low-income areas when school is not in session.
From June 2011 to October 2014, 42-year-old Michael Anthony Munson, founder of the Heloise Munson Foundation, allegedly submitted reimbursement claims for more than 1.4 million meals he never served, and received $2.5 million in undeserved compensation.
According to prosecutors, Munson paid another individual roughly $75,000 to fabricate invoices for milk, juice, and food from a fictitious company, “Janus Wholesale Food, Inc.” and to camouflage the scheme.
When Munson was notified authorities were reviewing his reimbursement claims, he notified the individual, who created the domain januswholesalefoods.com, opened a bank account in Janus’ name using a fake IRS Employer Identification Number, and fabricated affidavits from non-existent Janus employees claiming to do business with Munson, which were later submitted to government authorities.
Munson, who surrendered to the FBI Thursday, has been charged with five counts of summer food service program fraud, and faces up to 25 years in prison, along with a $50,000 fine plus restitution.
“Low-income families across our District count on the Summer Food Service Program to provide their children with nutritious meals, ” U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox said. “Anyone who takes advantage of a system designed to serve those already struggling will be prosecuted and brought to justice.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture - Office of Inspector General and Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Brasher is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.