Feeding Our Future: 5 indicted in bribery case

This morning, at the Federal courthouse in downtown Minneapolis, U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger announced that five individuals have been indicted for attempting to bribe the juror in the recently concluded Feeding Our Future fraud trial.

The three shown above were all defendants in that trial. Of the two Farah brothers, Said was acquitted of all charges and Abdiaziz was convicted on 23 of 24 charges he faced.

Also indicted in the bribery case was a third Farah brother, Abdulkarim, aged 24, of Minneapolis. Abdulkarim has not been charged in the larger Feeding Our Future case. Also charged, but not in custody, is Ladan Ali, aged 31, of Seattle, Washington. Ali is expected to surrender later this week.

The three Farah brothers appeared in Federal court in St. Paul this afternoon. Their next court appearance is scheduled for Monday morning (July 1) in Minneapolis.

In addition to the $120,000 in cash, a document was left at the home of Juror No. 52. It was a set of instructions to the juror to use in the jury room to gain acquittals in the case. The U.S. Attorney showed the document this morning, reprinted here. Talking points 1 to 22

Talking points 23 through 31,

Talking points 2, 13 and 23 explicitly play the race card.

In 2020, Abdiaziz Farah donated $1,000 to a Democratic political candidate who ran unsuccessfully for office in Minnesota. Ladan Ali appears to have given $1,000 to a Washington State candidate for a 2022 race. Many figures from Minnesota tied to the larger Feeding case also donated to this same Seattle-area Democrat.

The connection of the three Farah brothers and the defendant Nur to the case would appear obvious.

But the connection of the Seattle-based Ladan Mohamed Ali to the case would appear less so. Deena Winter of MN Reformer reports on the alleged connection,

She is connected to the defendants through Afro Produce LLC, a food vendor that received over $1.6 million from entities charged in the federal case, the indictment says. 

The ten-page bribery case indictment can be read here.

In the official exhibit list for the recently concluded Federal fraud trial, the name “Afro Produce” and that company’s bank records appear on four occasions.

By coincidence, a food vendor under the name Afro Produce is associated with (p. 5, bullet 4) another free-food nonprofit whose name appears twice in the exhibit list: Youth Leadership Academy, d/b/a Gar Gaar Family Services (GGFS).

To be clear, no one associated with GGFS has been accused of any wrongdoing in the Feeding Case.

The nonprofit is now closed and barred from participating in the free-food programs.

According to the only tax return ever filed for Youth Leadership Academy/GGFS (for 2021), its leaders were two Minnesota businesswomen: Khadija Mohamed Ali and Priya Morioka. The name “Ladan Ali” appears on a list of GGFS employees from 2021. Her employment at Gar Gaar is confirmed by statements made by the FBI in a search warrant obtained in the bribery case. The FBI writes,

Both Ali and Morioka are frequent contributors to DFL candidates in Minnesota. In recent years, Ali has donated to Gov. Tim Walz, Atty. Gen. Keith Ellison, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and state Reps Hodan Hassan and Samakab Hussein.

Morioka has also donated to Walz, Omar, and Hassan. Morioka was appointed in 2019 by Walz to serve on his Workforce Development Board.

Coincidences abound.