Feeding Our Future: 10 more indicted in scandal

Andy Luger, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, announced 10 more defendants were indicted this morning in the Feeding Our Future scandal. The total charged in the case now stands at 60.

Three of the 10 are expected to plead guilty. If so, that would bring the total number of guilty pleas in the case to 9.

We’ll have more to say once the defendants have made their court appearances over the next few days. If you’ve been a loyal reader of our Feeding Our Future coverage, then many of these names will be familiar.

Mohamed Hussein and Lul Ali are defendants Nos. 51 and 52 in the case. They worked out of Faribault, and we covered their operations (S.A.F.E. and Lido Restaurant, respectively) in this post back in May of last year. Both are expected to plead guilty.

Mulata Ali, defendant No. 53, is also expected to plead guilty. Mulata is linked to a company called Franklyn Transporation, a shell company which we discussed in this post from October concerning defendant No. 46, and guilty plea No. 2, Hadith Ahmed.

The next four defendants, Nos. 54 through 57, were charged in an expansion of the original Haji’s Kitchen indictment. We covered the original September indictment here.

Kawsar Jama, defendant No. 54, operated mostly out of Pelican Rapids, but her GEDO Community Services site located in Burnsville made the list in this post.

Abdikadir Kadiye, defendant No. 55, headed up Hobyo Health Care Foundation. Hobyo is seeking reinstatement to the free-food programs for two locations through the nonprofit Partners In Nutrition lawsuit against the state.

Abdulkadir Awale, defendant No. 56, owns a number of area restaurants, including Sambusa King of Hopkins,

Defendant, No. 57, Khadra Abdi, runs Shafii Tutoring, also of Hopkins.

We visited both sites in our June tour of Hopkins.

Indicted separately was defendant No. 58, Ayan Abukar. She founded and operated the award-winning nonprofit Action for East Africa People, which we discussed in this post from October and even earlier in March 2022.

Defendant No. 59 is Sade Hashi, of Safari Express (not to be confused with the Safari Restaurant).

Last but not least is defendant No. 60, Sharon Ross, from the House of Refuge Outreach. We visited the St. Paul nonprofit last year:

The House of Refuge site made the news back in October. We wrote about it here. At the time, it was reported that the state Department of Education paid out $2.7 million to the nonprofit, with another $1 million in invoices disallowed.

The U.S. Attorney puts the total figure at between $2.4 million (Indictment, paragraph 21, page 6) and $2.8 million (para. 33, p. 10). Luger claims that House of Refuge used Brava Cafe of Minneapolis as a food vendor (para. 26, p. 8). Brava’s owner, Hanna Marakegn is guilty plea No. 3 in the case.

Ross’ property subject to foreclosure includes a residential property in Willernie, MN.

To quote Andy Luger from this morning,

We have 60 people charged and more are coming.