Lunch money: Feds say NYC couple stole $2.5 million from preschooler meals

WHAT: The owners of the Red Apple Child Development Center preschool chain, Joanna Fan and her husband, Ziming Shen, were arraigned at U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, N.Y., on charges of siphoning $2.5 million in preschool meal money over five years.

HOW: Government audits allegedly uncovered a pattern of padded billing to the Agriculture Department, overstating how many children received meals and shifting stolen funding to the couple’s other businesses and real estate interests.

WHAT’S BEING DONE: Fan and Shen are out on bail of $750,000 each, with their movements restricted and their passports confiscated. Theft from programs receiving federal funds is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine.

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