61st defendant indicted in Feeding Our Future case

Yesterday, the U.S. Attorney for Minnesota indicted Defendant No. 61 in the free-food scandal. The indictment of Hoda Ali Abdi of Burnsville, proprietress of the Alif Halal grocery store, can be read here. It’s the first new indictment handed down in nearly a year.

Of the 61 indicted so far, one has died (of natural causes) and seventeen (17) have pled guilty. The remainder are scheduled to go on trial at some point in 2024.

The document, including a single count, was filed as an Information. The implication is that Abdi will eventually plead guilty in the case.

According to the indictment, Abdi did business with both Feeding Our Future and a second free-food nonprofit, Partners in Nutrition, d/b/a Partners in Quality Care. In court documents, Partners is referred to as “Sponsor A.”

Abdi allegedly operated food distribution sites in Burnsville under the names “All Somali Community of Worldwide” and “B&B Program” (p. 3). As I discussed in this post from June 2022, both sites were located in the same Cliff Road industrial building.

All Somali Community petitioned for reimbursement to the free-food program through Partners in an ultimately unsuccessful lawsuit.

Also back in June 2022, I wrote about All Somali Community’s alleged operation at this Hopkins grocery store. This Hopkins address is not mentioned in the indictment and may be unrelated to Abdi or the scandal.

As noted in this post from November 2022, the All Somali Community of Worldwide name was used to register nine (9) food distribution sites. It is not clear whether any of the sites are related.

The indictment also accuses Abdi of serving as a fake-food vendor to a number of other nonprofit organizations operating distribution sites. Those listed by name include M5 Care (p. 5, paragraph 13), mentioned in this March 2022 post. The M5 operation was one of 41 sites that Feeding Our Future was suing the state back in 2020 to have added to the free food program. (See page 8, paragraph 36, line 7.)

I also discussed M5 Care, B&B, and a third nonprofit mentioned in the latest indictment, Adecco, in this November 2022 post.

Four of Abdi’s alleged co-conspirators are mentioned only by initials in the indictment. One set of initials mentioned by the U.S. Attorney is an individual F.M. associated with Future Leaders Early Learning Center (p. 5, paragraph 12). These initials appear to match a name mentioned by the state Department of Education (MDE) in this document.

One of Abdi’s alleged co-conspirators mentioned by name (p. 6, paragraph 18) is Abdulkadir Awale, Guilty Plea No. 10, of Sambusa King fame.

The indictment claims Abdi’s take in the scandal amounted to $1.3 million (p. 8, paragraph 26). That dollar amount does not include dozens of invoices related to Abdi’s operation that MDE has refused to pay.

More to come…