Conviction Nos. 8 and 9 in the Feeding Our Future case

Two more of the 60 defendants plead guilty.

As expected, Defendants Nos. 51 and 52 pled guilty this week, bringing the number of convictions in the Feeding Our Future free-food-fraud case up to nine.

Lul Bashir Ali, of Lido Restaurant, and Mohamed Ali Hussein of the nonprofit Somali American Faribault Education (SAFE) admitted to fraudulently taking more than $5 million from the free food programs under the banner of the nonprofit Feeding Our Future.

We wrote about their operation more than a year ago, in May 2022. Both operated out of Faribault. As a result of their plea agreements, the two will forfeit three properties in the Faribault area and a Chevy Blazer.

Back in 2018, MinnPost profiled Hussein’s SAFE nonprofit in a piece on the growth of Somali businesses in Faribault. At the time, MinnPost wrote,

Between 2004 and 2018, in fact, the community established more than a dozen small businesses — grocery stores, restaurants, cafés and money transfer shops — along with two main nonprofit organizations.

One of those is Somali American Faribault Education (SAFE), which provides refugees with ESL programs and connects them to jobs; another is the Somali Community Resettlement Services, which connects refugees to employment, housing and county services.

More guilty pleas are expected in the case.