Our government pays out $250 million to cafeterias without ever doing a drive-by

Aside from immigration, the big political question in the U.S. is what percentage of GDP should be consumed and directed by government. In the old days, the Federal government was limited to some extent by the Constitution, but today the only limit on the great things that the Federal government can do is our imagination.

What could be bad about having the government take over what had been a private function? “U.S. Attorney Announces Federal Charges Against 47 Defendants in $250 Million Feeding Our Future Fraud Scheme” (justice.gov) is a good example.

The Federal Child Nutrition Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is a federally-funded program designed to provide free meals to children in need. The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service administers the program throughout the nation by distributing federal funds to state governments. In Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) administers and oversees the Federal Child Nutrition Program. Meals funded by the Federal Child Nutrition Program are served by “sites.” Each site participating in the program must be sponsored by an authorized sponsoring organization. Sponsors must submit an application to MDE for each site. Sponsors are also responsible for monitoring each of their sites and preparing reimbursement claims for their sites. The USDA then provides MDE federal reimbursement funds on a per-meal basis. MDE provides those funds to the sponsoring agency who, in turn, pays the reimbursements to the sites under its sponsorship. The sponsoring agency retains 10 to 15 percent of the funds as an administrative fee.

As part of the charged scheme, Feeding Our Future employees recruited individuals and entities to open Federal Child Nutrition Program sites throughout the state of Minnesota. These sites, created and operated by the defendants and others, fraudulently claimed to be serving meals to thousands of children a day within just days or weeks of being formed. The defendants created dozens of shell companies to enroll in the program as Federal Child Nutrition Program sites. The defendants also created shell companies to receive and launder the proceeds of their fraudulent scheme.

To carry out the scheme, the defendants also created and submitted false documentation. They submitted fraudulent meal count sheets purporting to document the number of children and meals served at each site. The defendants submitted false invoices purporting to document the purchase of food to be served to children at the sites. The defendants also submitted fake attendance rosters purporting to list the names and ages of the children receiving meals at the sites each day. These rosters were fabricated and created using fake names. For example, one roster was created using names from a website called “www.listofrandomnames.com.” Because the program only reimbursed for meals served to children, other defendants used an Excel formula to insert a random age between seven and 17 into the age column of the rosters.

In total, Feeding Our Future opened more than 250 sites throughout the state of Minnesota and fraudulently obtained and disbursed more than $240 million in Federal Child Nutrition Program funds.

In other words, the Minnesota and Federal governments spent $250 million that Americans had paid in taxes without ever simply driving to any of the fictitious cafeteria/restaurant sites to see if there anyone was being fed.

Who is indicted?

  • Abdi Nur Salah
  • Abdiaziz Shafii Farah
  • Abdihakim Ali Ahmed
  • Abdikadir Ainanshe Mohamud
  • Abdikerm Abdelahi Eidleh
  • Abdimajid Mohamed Nur
  • Abdinasir Mahamed Abshir
  • Abdirahman Mohamud Ahmed
  • Abdiwahab Ahmed Mohamud
  • Abdiwahab Maalim Aftin
  • Abdul Abubakar Ali
  • Abdulkadir Nur Salah
  • Abdullahe Nur Jesow
  • Ahmed Abdullahi Ghedi
  • Ahmed Mohamed Artan
  • Ahmed Sharif Omar-Hashim
  • Ahmed Yasin Ali
  • Aimee Marie Bock
  • Anab Artan Awad
  • Asad Mohamed Abshir
  • Asha Jama
  • Ayan Jama
  • Bekam Addissu Merdassa
  • Fahad Nur
  • Farhiya Mohamud
  • Fartun Jama
  • Filsan Mumin Hassan
  • Guhaad Hashi Said
  • Hadith Yusuf Ahmed
  • Haji Osman Salad
  • Hamdi Hussein Omar
  • Hanna Marekegn
  • Hayat Mohamed Nur
  • Khadar Jigre Adan
  • Liban Yasin Alishire
  • Mahad Ibrahim
  • Mohamed Jama Ismail
  • Mukhtar Mohamed Shariff
  • Mustafa Jama
  • Qamar Ahmed Hassan
  • Sahra Mohamed Nur
  • Said Shafii Farah
  • Salim Ahmed Said
  • Sharmarke Issa
  • Sharmake Jama
  • Yusuf Bashir Ali
  • Zamzam Jama

The Federales note “An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law,” but we know that this isn’t true with respect to Donald Trump, whose guilt may be established even prior to any indictment.

Why couldn’t Federal or state officials, at some point during the three years in which payments were made, have made an in-person visit to see what was being served for $250 million in tax money? Weren’t they curious to check out the menu and food?

22 thoughts on “Our government pays out $250 million to cafeterias without ever doing a drive-by

  1. adding value to our country just like their fellow Somali, Congressional Representative Illan Omar, whose husband collected over $600,000 in PPP funds for his political consulting group. It’s a wonder taxpayers are still breathing!

  2. Is it just a coincidence this occurred in the same community where in 2018 $100M/year was scammed from government-funded day care where there were no actual kids?

    source

  3. These special government funding programs always turn out to be circular make work projects – government agencies investigating another (quasi) government agencies when the funds go (permanently and forever) missing.

    Theft and fraud is a feature not a hug of these programs; and it’s budgeted into the total appropriated amount.

    There’s likely a few MN state employees as co-conspirators on this scam, and likely familial related to some of the individuals charged.

    • @DP: When hundreds of millions of dollars in gubmint money are there for the taking in uber-Liberal Minnesota, there is no Milkcrate Challenge too high to attempt! What a country!

      https://www.sbnation.com/2021/8/23/22637788/milk-crate-challenge-fail-videos-tiktok

      And from the list of perps, it sounds to me like they were well aware as entire families about how to extract the money.

      “Send the money to me, Al Franken.” < from his old SNL skit. I'm sure he had nothing to do with it. Maybe it was Jesse Ventura. Where did he go after Harvard brought him there to study the bumps on his skull?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Franken

    • Completely off-topic: If anyone would like to watch someone cook excellent steaks, Aden Films on YouTube has eaten many of the best ones. He always chooses really good beef, but his preparation is uncomplicated. Some of his “backyard” videos don’t even have flames – just a German-made hotplate. I have no affiliation with him, but he definitely doesn’t use NyQuil to cook his steaks, nor do I think he would similar things with chicken.

      But we are increasing the Stupid every day, and the gap widens even more as America continues its idiotic plummet into Banano Republico. I’m not optimistic about our prospects.

  4. I wonder how many among the indicted are Ivy League graduates or close relatives of one? That would be a fascinating subject for an investigative journalist.

  5. Don’t they check that the grantees of “federal” (taxpayer) money are EOE? Every small software company that I worked for proudly displayed EOE flyer to content for government business (only some of them were getting it). Luck of diversity of the indicts should have been a warning sign. Did not they check them for EOE? Nothing is holy anymore. Was it current administration that dispensed the dough?

  6. The suze and sophistication of the operation exhibits an admirable level of initiative and organization. The US can be proud of such talented, albeit non law abiding, immigrants.

    • @disevad: The history of Somali and east-African immigration to Minnesota is highly politically charged (as is everything these days.) Significant numbers of Somalis arrived there during both G. W. Bush’s term and during Barack Obama’s term, but they had been arriving there for many years – before and afterward. I guess the simplest thing to say is they got started, figured out they liked the place for one reason or another, and just kept coming.

      There is probably some academic historian who has tried to piece it all together in a relatively nonbiased way, but whenever you talk about Somalis in Minnesota, you always wind up being sucked into the Vortex.

    • There is also a long-developed African immigrant population in Kansas City, MO and in Portland and Bunswick, ME.

    • Liberal churches, mainly Lutheran, sponsered the first waves. Ones you stop believing in saving souls you have to do somehting to justify the pay.

      The whole thing was payback to the Kenyan govwernment which was unhappy wit hosting 1/2 million Somali refugees in camps (theycouldn’t leave because the Kenyans didn’t want them as citizens). We wanted certain goodies from Kenya- so the refugess (who were already safe) got to go to the US.

    • @JH: A Republican Presidential candidate hasn’t won Minnesota since Richard Nixon in 1972,
      although in recent years it edged in that direction, prompting no small amount of panic that MN was turning red. It has more Somali and east-African immigrants than any other state in the country. Estimates vary but it’s safe to say they number > 60,000.

    • @JH: Personally, I always thought Minnesota was “liberal” because of the radio and voice stylings of Garrison Keillor, whose program “The Prairie Home Companion” used to air on NPR stations around the country. He became inextricably entangled in an “inappropriate behavior” kerfuffle in 2016-17 which led to his resignation and Minnesota Public Radio severing all ties with him.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garrison_Keillor

      “On November 29, 2017, the Star Tribune reported that Minnesota Public Radio was terminating all business relationships with Keillor as a result of “allegations of his inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him.” In January 2018, MPR CEO Jon McTaggart elaborated that they had received allegations of “dozens” of sexually inappropriate incidents from the individual, including requests for sexual contact.[26] Keillor denied any wrongdoing and said his firing stems from an incident when he touched a woman’s bare back while trying to console her. He said he had apologized to her soon after, that they had already made up, and that he was surprised to hear the allegations when her lawyer called.”

      I listened to that show for many years and was sad to see it all end that way. This was around the beginning of the #MeToo movement and poor Al Franken got whacked for a stupid, juvenile photo, too. I thought the punishment didn’t fit the “crime” there, either, even though there’s just about nobody I’d want as a U.S. Senator less than Al Franken. But whenever a movement gets started, prominent scalps have to be taken, or what’s the point, right?

  7. Meanwhile in North Minneapolis:

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/minneapolis-gang-violence-intensifies-after-police-defunding-it-s-like-you-re-playing-russian-roulette/ar-AA128N6k

    “There’s definitely a belief among the youth and young adults that there are no consequences for their behavior because they see a reduced number of police officers,” He says noting that police are so short-staffed, investigators are tasked with day to day policing. “So there’s no kind of proactive work going on.” …

    “The gangs have digressed to armed cliques. There is no central or enduring leadership. When a decision is made to shoot someone over a petty dispute, there is no heavyweight within the gang to stop it. “Now these days these gangs are reckless, real reckless,” the gangster says. “There used to be structure in there, no women no kids. Now, it’s just a free for all, anybody can get involved.”

    In other words, parts of Minneapolis are starting to resemble the Somalia from which so many refugees fled to Minnesota in the first place.

    [I should note: that link is to an article on MSN that was produced by the hated Fox News.]

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