In Minnesota’s large Somali community, forty-seven individuals, primarily in Minneapolis, have been charged for their roles, in allegedly stealing $250 million, in COVID-19 federal funds meant for a child nutrition program. These 47 individuals are charged across six indictments, and three criminal information’s committed conspiracy, bribery, wire fraud, and money laundering, when they defrauded millions from the Federal Child Nutrition Program during the coronavirus pandemic, according to federal prosecutors
Allegedly, those charged, used COVID-19 changes, to the Federal Child Nutrition Program, to oversee the massive fraud scheme via the Minneapolis-based, Feeding Our Future, and the for-profit restaurants, as well as the food distribution services, sponsored by the nonprofit.
Feeding Our Future, in 2019, received and disbursed about $3.4 million in federal funds, to feed underprivileged children, in the Minneapolis area. The nonprofit had received almost $200 million in federal funds, by 2021,
Allegedly, claiming to open more than 250 Federal Child Nutrition Program sites, across the state of Minnesota, the scheme targeted Feeding Our Future. By filing fraudulent documents, purporting to be feeding children, most of those charged were claiming to operate these fictitious sites, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors claim, Feeding Our Future executives, knew all along that the fraud was taking place but continued to submit fraudulent documents, to secure Federal Child Nutrition Program funds, for the sites claiming to be feeding children. Feeding Our Future was essentially paid more than $18 million, during the process, in administrative fees and employees of the nonprofit, allegedly accepted bribes and kickbacks. Then when Minnesota regulators, sought to provide oversight to the operation, a Feeding Our Future executive claimed the state was discriminating against the nonprofit.
According to prosecutors, most of the individuals charged in the fraud scheme, used the stolen funds to buy luxury vehicles, real estate in Kenya and Turkey, residential and commercial real estate, and to fund their international travel.
Those charged in the multiple indictments are:
Aimee Marie Bock, 41, of Apple Valley , Abdikerm Abdelahi Eidleh, 39, of Burnsville, Salim Ahmed Said, 33, of Plymouth, Abdulkadir Nur Salah, 36, of Columbia Heights, Ahmed Sharif Omar-Hashim, 39, of Minneapolis, Abdi Nur Salah, 34, of Minneapolis, Abdihakim Ali Ahmed, 36, of Apple Valley, Ahmed Mohamed Artan, 37, of Minneapolis, Abdikadir Ainanshe Mohamud, 30, of Fridley, Abdinasir Mahamed Abshir, 30, of Minneapolis, Asad Mohamed Abshir, 32, of Mankato, Hamdi Hussein Omar, 26, of St. Paul, Ahmed Abdullahi Ghedi, 32, of Minneapolis, Abdirahman Mohamud Ahmed, 54, of Columbus, Ohio, Abdiaziz Shafii Farah, 33, of Savage, Mohamed Jama Ismail, 49, of Savage, Mahad Ibrahim, 46, of Lewis Center, Abdimajid Mohamed Nur, 21, of Shakopee, Said Shafii Farah, 40, of Minneapolis, Abdiwahab Maalim Aftin, 32, of Minneapolis, Mukhtar Mohamed Shariff, 31, of Bloomington, Hayat Mohamed Nur, 25, of Eden Prairie, Qamar Ahmed Hassan, 53, of Brooklyn Park, Sahra Mohamed Nur, 61, of Saint Anthony, Abdiwahab Ahmed Mohamud, 32, of Brooklyn Park, Filsan Mumin Hassan, 28, of Brooklyn Park, Guhaad Hashi Said, 46, of Minneapolis, Abdullahe Nur Jesow, 62, of Columbia Heights, Abdul Abubakar Ali, 40, of St. Paul, Minnesota, Yusuf Bashir Ali, 40, of Vadnais Heights, Haji Osman Salad, 32, of St. Anthony, Fahad Nur, 38, of Minneapolis, Anab Artan Awad, 52, of Plymouth, Sharmarke Issa, 40, of Edina, Farhiya Mohamud, 63, of Bloomington, Liban Yasin Alishire, 42, of Brooklyn Park, Ahmed Yasin Ali, 57, of Brooklyn Park, Khadar Jigre Adan, 59, of Lakeville, Sharmake Jama, 34, of Rochester, Ayan Jama, 43, of Rochester, Asha Jama, 39, of Lakeville, Fartun Jama, 35, of Rosemount, Mustafa Jama, 45, of Rochester, Zamzam Jama, 48, of Rochester, Bekam Addissu Merdassa, 39, of Inver Grove Heights, Hadith Yusuf Ahmed, 34, of Eden Prairie, Hanna Marekegn, 40, of Edina, Minnesota.
So much for coming to America to be productive citizens. According to KARE 11 News, only seven of the 47 individuals were taken into law enforcement custody, including two, who were previously charged with passport fraud. Some of these have since been released from jail pending their trial. Further, another individual is in custody after she booked a one-way flight to Ethiopia, with three of the charged individuals having already fled the United States.
It is beyond grievous that these persons stole from those, who needed these funds the most, taking advantage of the COVID-19 funding issue, to hide their deceit. One wonders how Governor Tim Walz, feels about this massive ring of Somali embezzlers right in his own back yard?
“It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.”-Noël Coward