LITTLE ROCK — A Little Rock man has been indicted in the alleged theft of money from a federally funded feeding program, the office of U.S. Attorney Chris Thyer in Little Rock said Thursday.

LITTLE ROCK — A Little Rock man has been indicted in the alleged theft of money from a federally funded feeding program, the office of U.S. Attorney Chris Thyer in Little Rock said Thursday.


Michael R. Lee, 24, was arrested Wednesday after the filing of an indictment that a grand jury returned on Tuesday, Thyer’s office said in a news release. Lee is charged with 20 counts of wire fraud.


According to the indictment, Lee operated as a sponsor for a feeding program through an organization called Our Children of Tomorrow. A relative of Lee who worked for the state Department of Human Services processed applications from sponsors applying to participate in the feeding program, which receives funding from the federal Child and Adult Care Feeding Program. DHS administers the program in Arkansas.


The indictment alleges that Lee falsely stated his average daily attendance and greatly inflated the number of meals provided.


At one location, Lee reported attendance ranging from 115 to 450 children although no more than 25-30 children were ever seen there, and at another location he reported between 76 and 350 children, but no children were seen at that feeding site, federal prosecutors allege.


Lee appeared Thursday before U.S. Magistrate J. Thomas Ray and was released on bond. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison and fined up to $250,000 on each count.


The investigation is continuing and is being conducted by the Secret Service, the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Marshals Service.