AG removes Feeding Our Future defendant from nonprofit leadership post

Better late than never, I guess. State Attorney General Keith Ellison filed paperwork today to remove Ayan Abukar — Feeding Our Future Defendant No. 58 — from her role running the Bloomington-based nonprofit Action for East African People (AFEAP) she founded in 2017.

Local media began raising suspicions about her operation beginning in October 2022, soon after the initial batch of indictments in the free-food scandal.

Abukar was indicted in the case more than a year ago, in March 2023. (I did a deep dive into her Bloomington operation and connections to other Feeding defendants in this piece in June 2023). In his role as the state’s chief regulator of nonprofits, Ellison took 23 Feeding-related nonprofits to court in October 2023. Oddly enough, AFEAP was not on the list.

Abukar’s Federal indictment (page 9, paragraphs 30 to 34)) mentions (unindicted) “co-conspirators” without listing any names or initials. The attorney general’s latest filing (paragraphs 10, 29, 30, 37 and 44) names names, and they turn out to be Abukar’s adult children (two daughters and a son), a sister, and an unrelated AFEAP board member. All have, apparently, been removed from participation in the nonprofit by mutual agreement.

Ellison’s office also makes connections between Abukar and additional Feeding Defendants, namely Nos. 31 and 46 (paragraphs 39 and 40).

The AG’s office mentions (paragraph 66) Abukar’s attorney in the Federal case, who happens to be a former 9-term DFL state representative.

Abukar’s Federal trial is not expected to begin until late this year, perhaps even moving into 2025.

The nonprofit can continue its non-food-related operations.

One footnote. The recent round of media coverage of Abukar’s legal troubles makes no mention of how highly regarded she was before the Federal indictment. Before the post was deleted, the most recent Facebook entry in AFEAP’s account celebrated Abukar’s winning of an entrepreneur award, presented by no less than Minnesota Governor Tim Walz himself.

How quickly they forget.