16th guilty plea entered in the Feeding Our Future case

This is the first guilty plea involving the Safari Restaurant group of defendants.

Ahmed Sharif Omar-Hashim, a/k/a Salah Donyale, Defendant No. 5 and Guilty Plea No. 16 in the case, pled guilty this afternoon in Federal court in Minneapolis.

The Star Tribune reports on the court hearing. The U.S. Attorney issued a press release.

Omar-Hashim’s role in the scheme is outlined in the original indictment in the case (p. 5, paragraphs 14-15). He was the proprietor of Olive Management, a key player within the Safari network. Omar-Hashim also appears in the original search warrant in the case (p. 20, paragraph 70).

His name appears on the list of prominent donors, related to the scandal, giving a maximum $1,000 donation to state Sen. Omar Fateh (DFL-Minneapolis) in 2021. Fateh returned the donation.

The indictment (paragraph 44) mentions the location of one of Omar-Hashim’s free-food distribution sites: a deli in St. Cloud under the name Hormud. This deli was the site of another, unrelate scam involving two other Federal food programs (SNAP and WIC), that we discussed in April 2022. In that case, Hormud’s owner pled guilty to taking more than $4 million in fraudulent payments. With today’s conviction, we add a third Federal food program proven to have been defrauded at the same St. Cloud address.

The indictment (paragraph 46) indicates that Omar-Hashim took more than $5 million out of the Federal free-food programs. The press release includes a higher figure of $7.5 million.

The indictment (paragraph 196) indicates that Omar-Hashim was one of the senior partners in the Safari fraud, and was a part owner of the Brooklyn Park restaurant Kelly’s 19th Hole that we profiled back in June 2022.

The indictment lists Omar-Hashim as purchasing a home in Minneapolis and a Lexus with his proceeds. The Feds also report seizing $400,000 from Omar-Hashim’s bank accounts.

The trial for the other 13 defendants in the Safari group is scheduled to begin in 2024.