Feeding Our Future trials set to begin in early 2024

So far 60 individuals have been indicted in the case. Sixteen have pled guilty in the free-food-fraud scandal and one has died. The remaining 43 are scheduled to go to trial, in groups, at some point in the next year.

If it stays on schedule, first up in late January will be the trial of the lone defendant Sharon Ross. Trials of larger groups of defendants are scheduled to being in the spring or later.

MPR news has a preview of four trials here.

With trial dates approaching, activity at the courthouse is heating up. In the Aimee Bock group of 14 defendants, there were 16 court filings made in just the two days before the Christmas break. There were motions for separate trials, to dismiss, to suppress evidence, to change venue, etc.

Your humble correspondent makes an appearance in one pleading, as this post was included as an example of pre-trial publicity by one defendant.

As always for our globe-trotting group of defendants, there were motions to travel. Defendant No. 12 had her motion to travel denied, owing to the lack of an extradition treaty between the U.S. and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The request of Defendant No. 5 (Guilty Plea No. 16) for a two-month visit to Kenya is still pending. Omar-Hashim’s plea agreement (p. 9) indicates that the Feds have already seized $400,000 and a Lexus from him. He owes a total of $3.3 million in restitution in his case. But he apparently still has resources for months-long international travel. {Update: in early January 2024, the U.S. Attorney filed in opposition to Omar-Hamim’s request for foreign travel.]

Last week, the Minneapolis Star Tribune committed an act of journalism by reporting on each of the nine defendants allowed to travel out of state, so far. My favorite quote from the piece, when asking about the whereabouts of Guilty Plea No. 14, Sahra Nur,

Her attorney A.L. Brown declined to comment when asked if she has returned to Minnesota.

As noted above, some requests for travel have been denied by the Federal court.

Stay tuned!