couple accused of stealing preschool lunch funds

Asians behaving badly... preschool lunch fund stealing edition! In New York, a couple is accused of stealing at least $2.5 million in federal funds meant for nutritious meals for preschoolers: Couple Accused of Stealing Millions Intended for Preschoolers' Meals.

According to the criminal complaint, Joanna Fan and Ziming Shen allegedly siphoned money over five years from accounts at the nonprofit Red Apple Child Development Center preschool chain, and used the money to make mortgage payments on several Manhattan condos and fund their private business interests:
Audits by the New York State Health Department and the federal Agriculture Department since 2005 revealed a pattern of false submissions to the Agriculture Department, including lying about how many children were getting the meals, the complaint charges. For example, the complaint says, in January 2009, Ms. Fan submitted records claiming that 188 children had consumed 4,700 meals and snacks, when other records showed that 116 children ate 2,900 meals and snacks.

The complaint charges that in 2008, Ms. Fan issued a check for $200,000 from the federal lunch money account to make personal condominium payments, and also withdrew $110,000 to pay her personal income taxes. Between 2005 and 2010, the complaint asserts, $2.7 million went to Supermarnet, a company Mr. Shen owned, to provide meals to the preschoolers. But the complaint said invoices indicate the company spent only $24,000 for food during that period.

In all, according to the complaint, Ms. Fan stole approximately $1.8 million of program funds in 2008 and 2009. She acknowledged in a written statement to the Agriculture Department that she had taken the money, but stated that she had "borrowed" it, the complaint charged.
Come on. Stealing from a preschool? Stealing money meant for kids' food? That's shady as hell. By the way, while it looks like Joanna Fan and Ziming Shen are dancing in the photo above, they're actually in the middle of some sort of scuffle with news photographers outside federal court in Brooklyn. Awkward.

angry archive